Ambulance Accidents

When you, or a loved one, is hurt or sick and needs to get to the hospital right away, you rely on an ambulance for safe, fast, transport. However, sometimes ambulances themselves cause car accidents.

Ambulance drivers are excused from many of the common rules most motorists must follow when there is an emergency. But, even in emergencies, ambulance drivers must drive carefully and has a duty to not drive recklessly.

Ambulance accidents are can be especially tragic because the speeds and size of ambulances often make for devastating accident scenes, and the paramedics and patients in the ambulances are more vulnerable to injuries than a typical occupant, secured by a seatbelt.

If you have been involved in an ambulance accident, you need expert help. Let us connect you with an experienced personal injury lawyer to help you protect your rights.

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Facts About Ambulances

ambulance-accidentsA mix of private companies and governments operates ambulances. Some counties operate their own emergency medical services (EMS), while many contract out to private companies. Hospitals usually do not have their own ambulance service. Instead they are serviced by a county or city government’s own ambulances or one or more private companies contracted out to transport people.

The modern ambulance is a mobile medical center. The paramedics that travel by ambulance have the training and equipment to perform life saving care. This may include everything from using shock paddles, to inserting an IV.

Paramedics attempt to get patients as stable as possible and then transport them to the nearest hospital. Paramedics usually are seat belted in the back of the ambulance while it travels. However, when there is an emergency situation, one or more paramedics may be trying to keep a patient alive and are not strapped in.

Ambulance drivers have a duty to drive safely. While they have the right of way at lights and on the roads, drivers must always be on the look out for other cars.

Causes of Ambulance Accidents

ambulance-accident-claimYou may be involved in an ambulance accident in two different ways. The car you may be driving riding in could be in an accident with an ambulance. You could also be a patient in the back of an ambulance and that ambulance could then be involved in an accident.

Each type of ambulance accident will be handled differently.

The main causes of ambulance accidents are:

  • Fatigues driver
  • Distracted driver
  • Excessive speed
  • Weather conditions
  • Blind spot accidents
  • Inexperienced driver
  • Failure to fully scan an intersection

While other drivers on the road are required to give ambulances the right of way when they have their lights or sirens on, ambulance drivers cannot assume that others will comply.

making-Claims-in-Ambulance-AccidentsAmbulance accidents are often caused by a combination of negligence on the part of other drivers as well as the ambulance driver. Ambulance accidents are often not as thoroughly processed as other kinds of accidents due to the urgent need to get any patients to a hospital as quickly as possible. Even a few seconds could mean the difference between life and death.

Types of Injuries

Injuries in ambulance accidents are often severe. Injuries in car accidents are largely a function of physics. The greater the speed and size difference between two vehicles is, the more energy goes into a crash, the more severe the injuries are, and the greater the property damage is.

Typical injuries in ambulance accidents are:

Patients being transported in the back of an ambulance are not only at risk for the typical kinds of injuries in any motor vehicle accident, but they are also at risk of their conditioning worsening. They could bleed to death, suffer a heart attack or stroke, or they could sustain injuries from the IV being ripped out of their arm.

Issues in making Claims in Ambulance Accidents

When trying to make a successful claim for damages after an ambulance accident you will face some challenges. Any type of negligence claim will require you to prove the following elements:

  • The other party owed you a duty
  • They breached that duty
  • Your injury was caused by their breach of duty
  • You suffered damages.

This framework can cause problems in ambulance accidents because people are often reluctant to fault an ambulance driver. Many juries will go out of their way to find that the ambulance driver did not breach their duty. Sometimes the jury will conclude that the driver of the car was at least partially responsible for the accident. This is called comparative negligence and may result in you not getting any damages at all.

If you were a passenger in a car or a patient in the back of an ambulance and there was an accident, you have to decide who is at fault for the accident. For patients, this is impossible to do without the help of a police report, eyewitnesses, or a crash reconstruction expert.

Other issues may include dealing with public agencies and paramedics trying to cover-up for one of their own.

If you have been involved in an ambulance accident, you need expert help. Let us connect you with an experienced personal injury lawyer to help you protect your rights.

Free Case Evaluation


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