What to Do if You Get into an Accident with a Private Ambulance in Pennsylvania
When you or a loved one has been hurt so seriously that an ambulance is required, the injury itself is all that’s on your mind. Unfortunately, it is sometimes the ambulance itself that poses the more serious threat. While EMTs and ambulances form a vital part of the healthcare system and save countless lives every day, in some cases, ambulances cause injuries instead of treating them. This is especially problematic in the private ambulance industry, where profits sometimes take precedence over passenger safety.
We place our very lives into the hands of private ambulance drivers and EMTs, and when that enormous trust is betrayed, we can be physically, emotionally, and financially wounded. Reckless driving, lack of training, and other factors can all contribute to otherwise avoidable accidents, and leave terrible pain, suffering, and financial strain behind. If you or someone you love was hurt while being carried by a private ambulance, you may be able to win compensation by filing a personal injury lawsuit.
Pennsylvania Private Ambulances
In the aftermath of a serious injury, it can seem as though you have nowhere to turn. You relied on the ambulance to take care of you, and instead, it only made your medical condition worse. Now you are forced to cope with an additional set of injuries — all at a time when your health prevents you from earning the money you need to pay for hospital bills you never should have incurred in the first place. It’s a painful, frustrating situation on every level. We understand, and we want to help you right the wrongs you have suffered.
At the law offices of The Reiff Law Firm, we are aggressive, highly experienced Pennsylvania personal injury attorneys with a track record of success. Since 1979, we have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for our clients, including multiple recoveries in excess of $1 million. We are dedicated ambulance accident lawyers with over 34 years of experience, and we will fight hard on your behalf to obtain the compensation — and the justice — that you and your family deserve. Call us today at (215) 709-6940.
Over 6,500 Ambulance Accidents Every Year
With healthcare costs continuing to rise, many cities have attempted to save money by contracting private ambulance companies to treat and transport their citizens.
Because privately owned ambulance companies focus primarily on profits, their drivers and paramedics oftentimes lack the training, experience, and certifications which are required by hospital-based and fire department-based emergency response units. When private ambulance companies take shortcuts in the interest of cutting costs, the result can be injury or even wrongful death to innocent victims and their families.
As the number of private ambulance companies continues to grow, so does the number of accidents involving inadequately trained drivers and emergency responders. In some cases, the ambulance itself is the problem. For example, the vehicle may have been poorly designed, converted, or maintained, or may have suffered from manufacturing defects.
Statistics show there are more than 6,500 ambulance accidents in the United States every year, resulting in thousands of injuries and hundreds of fatalities on an annual basis. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:
- 78% of fatal crashes involve the ambulance striking another vehicle.
- 48% of ambulance drivers are cited for moving violations, DUI/DWI, license suspensions, or other motor vehicle convictions within three years of their fatal crashes.
In some cases, private ambulance drivers have been found intoxicated while transporting injured patients.
Private Ambulance Liability
Private ambulance companies may provide discounts on costs — but the trade-off is a discounted quality of care. This substandard level of care often involves ambulance liability.
Ambulance liability exists when it can be proven that the actions of emergency responders amounted to negligence or the use and maintenance of a defective vehicle. Examples include:
- Inadequate training or staffing of drivers and/or personnel.
- Failure to properly diagnose and treat a patient’s condition.
- Failure to load, stabilize, and secure a patient.
- Inaccurate or incomplete documentation of injuries.
- Failure to follow a physician’s instructions on how to care for a patient en route to the hospital.
- Utilization of faulty or defective equipment, including the ambulance itself.
- Operating without the required licenses.
- Intoxicated drivers/personnel.
- Improper use of equipment.
- Prematurely leaving a call without rendering required treatment.
- Failure to request additional emergency services.
- Overloading of emergency response/ transport vehicles.
- Unnecessary and inappropriate touching.
- Failure to maintain records.
- Failure to respond to a call.
- Reckless driving.
- Unsanitary ambulance conditions.
- Improperly administering (CPR) Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation.
- Attempting to cover up medical negligence and/or personnel misconduct.
- Unauthorized photography of injuries.
- HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) violations.
- Fraudulent billing.
- Theft from a patient.
If you or someone you love was injured or killed while being transported in an ambulance, you are not alone, and you may be entitled to financial compensation. Call The Reiff Law Firm today at (215) 709-6940, or contact us online to request your free consultation.