Anytime an ambulance is called, the person that is being transported is already in need of medical attention.
Who is responsible when a patient is involved in an accident while being transported in an ambulance and suffers additional injuries as a result?
Was the ambulance driver at fault for the accident?
A crash involving the driving of the ambulance is not legally considered medical malpractice, but a motor vehicle accident. Just like a normal motor vehicle accident, the liability is determined through investigation and/or litigation.
An ambulance driver may be liable for a patient’s injuries in a crash in numerous situations, such as when they:
- Were found guilty of causing the accident
- Failed to turn on emergency lights and sirens while en route
- Were found to be driving recklessly
- Fell asleep while driving
- Were under the influence of drugs or alcohol
If the ambulance driver was found to be at fault, the ambulance company may be liable for the victim’s injuries.
Was another driver found to have caused the accident?
There’s every possibility that the wreck was caused by another errant driver, not the ambulance driver.
One such ambulance accident occurred in Brooklyn on April 4th, 2021. The emergency vehicle was carrying a 95-year-old patient, 6 medical professionals, and an ambulance driver. All were injured and the patient that was in cardiac arrest died. The accident was caught on surveillance video as the ambulance passed through a red light. Despite the fact that the ambulance had its sirens and lights on, the driver of the other vehicle was caught on video failing to yield the right of way.
In a situation like that, the responsible party would likely be the other driver, so the victims of the wreck or their survivors would have to make their claim against that driver’s insurance.
Accidents involving ambulances make a bad situation worse, and they’re complex legal situations that require experienced guidance to best protect your rights.