Suffocation occurs when a person has difficulty breathing because their airway is constricted. Suffocation can cause mild to severe injuries, ranging from dizziness to death. Examples of when this can occur is when someone puts a pillow over your nostrils or if you are trapped in an oxygen-deprived.

What Types of Crimes may Involve Suffocation?

Suffocation could be a major factor in many criminal cases and civil lawsuits. For instance, the following types of crimes may be committed by someone suffocating another person:

  • Battery;
  • Crib deaths/sudden infant death syndrome;
  • Attempted murder; and
  • Murder.

If you are charged with of one of the above crimes, you could face jail time if convicted.

What Types of Civil Claims may Involve Suffocation?

In addition, the following types of civil claims could involve allegations that suffocation occurred:

Most commonly, you will see claims of suffocation come up in medical malpractice claims against a hospital or medical professional who caused someone to be deprived of oxygen. In this case, the hospital or medical professional would face a claim of negligence.

Liability would be determined by whether the standard of care relating to patient treatment was breached. The common damages you could recover is money for the medical expenses that your suffocation injuries caused. You may also recover damages relating to any pain and suffering or emotional distress you suffered. However, the available damages will depend on your state’s medical malpractice laws. This will be different depending on where you live.

Are there any Possible Defenses to Suffocation?

If you are convicted of a crime involving suffocation, you may have some possible defenses. First, if you did not commit the crime you should plead “not guilty.” Your attorney can help you build your case and present evidence that establish your innocence.

However, if you did commit the crime there are other defenses you could argue, such as self-defense, intoxication and lack of intent. Whether these defenses are available will depend on your state’s laws and the type of crime you are charged with.

If you are involved in a lawsuit involving suffocation, you may have some possible defenses. For example, if you are sued for civil battery involving suffocation, there are several defenses that you may be able to use.

For example, you could argue that you were acting in self-defense or were acting to defend another person. In addition, if you are a health professional sued for medical malpractice, you could argue that the plaintiff was contributorily negligent for their injuries.

Should I Contact an Attorney?

Suffocation incidents are very serious and will likely require legal assistance. If you are convicted of a crime involving suffocation, you should contact a criminal defense attorney to help you formulate any defense you may have to the crime. An attorney could also attempt to negotiate a plea bargain on your behalf.

If you believe that you were injured through the negligence of a doctor, you may be able to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. A local personal injury attorney can analyze your situation and advise you as to whether you have a case, based on your state’s laws. In addition, an attorney can help you file a lawsuit and represent you in any court proceedings for your case.