When you are involved in any sort of accident that causes physical injury to you or another person at the scene, your first instinct should be to call 911 for help. As a society, we rely on the availability and competency of first-responders to provide aid in emergency situations, and we therefore require such individuals to undergo extensive training and obtain insurance in order to perform this crucial work.
Ambulance operators, paramedics, and EMTs play an especially important role in emergencies as they must arrive at the scene of an accident in a timely manner, come prepared with the skill and equipment necessary to assess a situation, stabilize everyone in danger, transport those with serious injuries to a medical facility, and administer life saving treatment en route.
Given the important nature of their work, paramedics must complete three different levels of training in order to be certified: EMT Basic, EMT Intermediate and Advanced Paramedic Training. This training must be completed at institutions that are accredited by the Massachusetts Office of Emergency Services. In addition, they must received continuing training in order to be re-certified periodically.
Paramedics and first-responders are liable for malpractice just like doctors, lawyers and accountants. These individuals all receive specialized training in their profession and are therefore held to a heightened standard of care in exercising their profession.
Thus, when an EMT or paramedic fails to act as a reasonable EMT would under the circumstances of a given case, the EMT is liable for any injuries that result from his lapse in reasonable care. In Massachusetts, however, there is a law that prohibits suing an individual EMT for malpractice. Rather, the injured party can only sue the EMT’s employer. The personal injury team at the law firm of Altman & Altman understands the extent of damage paramedic negligence can cause, and how crucial the first few moments after an accident can be in rescuing people and preventing long-term complications.
In one recent Massachusetts case, parents called 911 when their 10-month-old daughter began having seizures associated with a high fever. The dispatcher sent an ambulance and two police cruisers to the scene. The ambulance driver got lost while trying to find the house, and refused to listen to directions given him by the police officers who had already arrived at the scene, resulting in a 13 minute delay in treatment. Then, when transporting the infant to the hospital, the paramedics were advised by doctors to administer Valium to the child to stop the seizures. Tragically, the paramedic who packed the ambulance forgot to bring the key to the narcotics cabinet. Although another ambulance was dispatched to meet the ambulance carrying the child to administer the drugs, an additional 10 minute delay resulted. The child, who is now 5 years old, is a spastic quadriplegic, wheelchair bound, and cannot communicate with others. The child’s parents brought suit on her behalf against the ambulance company for malpractice and the case settled for $10,200,000.00 after mediation.
Undoubtedly, no amount of money can make up for the tragic results of ambulance malpractice. These injuries can have long lasting effects, and the costs of treatment and recovery often serve as an added stress on the victim and his or her family. For these reasons, malpractice law allows injured individuals to sue negligent paramedics and EMTs for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.Ambulance Malpractice Attorneys at Altman & Altman, LLP
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury due to the negligence of a paramedic or EMT, you may be entitled to compensation for those injuries. The attorneys at Altman & Altman, LLP have decades of experience in personal injury law. We have the knowledge and resources necessary to fully litigate your case and to provide you with the support you need while you recover from your injuries and pursue your case. We have many contacts within the medical field and we will reach out to our network in order to prove precisely how the paramedic’s negligence led to or exacerbated your injury.
We would be happy to meet you for an initial case consultation. We will visit you at your home or in the hospital, at any time that is convenience for you. All initial consultations are free and confidential. You will meet one-on-one with an expert attorney to discuss the circumstances that led to your injury, and to discuss strategies for bringing your claim. Our team of personal injury attorneys will stand by your side at every step of the process and we will take care of your case from start to finish so that you can focus on recuperating and regaining your health. Contact us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.