One of the worst settings for an auto accident is inside of an ambulance, ambulette, or medical van. Unfortunately, medical transportation options are as susceptible to accidents as any other vehicle on the road. Because they are often rushing injured patients to the hospital, ambulances are even more likely to be engaged in a serious accident. Further, the patients and passengers inside medical vehicles have a higher chance of being inadequately restrained and/or more prone to injuries.
When this kind of accident happens, you may have a hard time determining the at-fault party. While emergency medical providers may have exemptions when it comes to liability, private companies almost always could have prevented the crash and the harm it caused.
STANDARDS OF CARE
If a company makes its living off specialized services to the ill and elderly, they are typically held to a higher standard of care. This means they must prioritize the health and safety of their customers at all times and make sure their staff is adequately trained. “Dial-a-ride” shuttle, ambulette, and medi-van services are also subject to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other federal guidelines. Their vehicles must be accessible and safe for those who are unable to drive themselves or take a bus or taxi to medical appointments.
Sadly, many companies violate standards involving:
- Safety rules
- Traffic laws
Whether employees are improperly trained or careless while driving, or vehicles are inadequately equipped or maintained, the negligence of medical transportation companies is frequently responsible for accidents and injuries on the road.
Many people who require private medical transportation are very sick, disabled, or elderly. If any of these vulnerable parties get hurt in a car accident, their injuries can be especially severe. For example, a hip fracture in someone over 65 is typically considered a catastrophic injury, and someone with a serious disability may not be able to overcome a minor concussion.
Although medical transportation companies are usually insured, policy maximums cannot always account for injuries that change or end someone’s life.
If your loved one succumbs to injuries they sustained in an ambulette or medi-van, you may need to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
No matter what kind of vehicle you or a loved one is in, accidents happen. While you may not have a case against an ambulance driver who was rushing you or your family member to the emergency room, private (non-emergency) medical transportation companies are held to a higher standard of care.
Once we hear about your situation during a free consultation, our attorneys can conduct a private investigation and gather the evidence we need to build you a strong and convincing case.