No response to a 911 call for almost 40 minutes

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No response to a 911 call for almost 40 minutes

On the morning of 2/12/2019 I was pulled from floodwater, unconscious with hypothermia clinging to a tree for my life. My body temperature was below 90 degrees. The first call was made around 7:00 am reporting they had seen a body floating in the backwater. Then a second call came in around 7:35 am stating there was a man clinging to a tree in the floodwater and that the caller was going in after me. The second caller said within minutes police and first responders were on the scene and assisted the caller with my rescue. Both callers reported me in the same location only 3 miles from the local law enforcement office and 5 miles from the local emt station. Once I regained consciousness at the hospital they told me I was very lucky to be alive. Should the county be held responsible for there negligence. The last thing I remember is grabbing a hold of that tree and if I wouldn’t have I most certain would have drowned.

Asked on February 22, 2019 under Personal Injury, Indiana

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Where you hurt by the delay, as in suffering some long lasting or permanent serious life impairment or disability? You don't mention such effects or injuries. The law doesn't provide compensation for what could have, but did not, happen; a successful lawsuit only awards money for actual injuries or costs caused by negligence, in an amount equivalent to the injuries or costs. So if the delay did not cause you incur significant additional harm (or additional costs) over and above what you would have incurred at the time of the first call, there is no point in taking legal action: you would not receive any compensation.


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