Legal Remedies Available to Victims of Ambulance Accidents
Emergency vehicle drivers face the task of safely transporting injured persons to medical facilities as fast as possible. However, these drivers still have a duty to perform their job responsibly and refrain from taking reckless risks and endangering their passengers or other motorists.
Accidents involving ambulances and other emergency vehicles cause about 33 fatalities each year, according to a report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Over a 20-year period in which statistics were compiled, an estimated 4,500 accidents involving ambulances occurred each year, injuring thousands. Roughly 60 percent of ambulance accidents occur during the course of emergency use, and for a variety of reasons. When drivers travel at high velocities, ambulances are susceptible to serious accidents, particularly if a driver is distracted, fatigued or poorly trained.
Patients and passengers have a reasonable expectation of arriving at a medical facility safely. Emergency medical technicians may have a difficult job, but they are required to operate their vehicles safely. The safety of passengers and drivers on the road must remain be the top priority. When drivers of emergency vehicles fail to show reasonable safety precautions and injuries result, you may have a successful legal claim against a negligent party and receive compensation.
Following any ambulance accident, victims should contact an experienced lawyer to investigate. Joe Lyon is a highly-rated and experienced Ohio personal injury attorney, well-versed in the science and economic impact such an injury or death has on the victim’s life and family.
Common Causes of Ambulance Accidents
There are several factors when considering the causes of an ambulance accident. In some cases, injuries result because a patient is improperly secured, or objects within the cab of an ambulance are improperly stored. Some ambulance accidents are unpreventable, and involve other negligent drivers—others result from the negligence of ambulance drivers, hospitals or medical transport providers.
Paramedics and EMTs are sometimes subject to unusual fatigue during long work hours, and also the same inattentiveness and distraction other drivers may experience. However, they are trained professionals and are held to a high level of responsibility. Ambulance drivers may make mistakes, even when they have passenger safety in mind. Some preventable causes of accidents can include:
- Excessive speeding
- Unsafely driving through intersection
- Failure to yield
- Failure to activate emergency lights/sirens
- Distracted driving
- Lack of driver training
- Driver Fatigue
- Mechanical failures
Common Injuries Sustained in Ambulance Accidents
The high speeds and the lack of protection for rear passengers in an ambulance can make a road accident even more dangerous than a normal collision involving passenger vehicles. Safety reports indicate that almost a third of ambulance accidents result in injuries. Half of those injured in ambulance accidents are occupants of the other vehicle involved. Common injuries suffered by ambulance accident victims include:
- Bone fractures
- Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)
- Whiplash & Spinal Injuries
- Cuts and lacerations
- Internal injuries
Compensation for Ambulance Accident Victims
Victims of an ambulance accident, whether they were riding in the ambulance or in another vehicle involved, can pursue legal action against responsible parties and win rightful compensation after a serious injury. Compensation recovery from serious ambulance accident claims may include:
- Emergency medical costs
- Surgical costs
- Pre-operative and post-operative care
- Frequent physician office visits
- Physical therapy
- Lost wages
- Lost future income
- Future medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Punitive damages
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury due to an ambulance accident, and have questions about the legal remedies available to improve quality of life and medical care in Ohio, contact The Lyon Firm (800) 513-2403. You will speak directly with Mr. Lyon, and he will help you answer these critical questions.