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Mar07

PRIVATE AMBULANCE ACCIDENTS INJURE PATIENTS AND MOTORISTS

 

Drivers of emergency vehicles face the difficult task of transporting injured people to emergency medical facilities as quickly as possible. Patients and passengers, on the other hand, have a realistic expectation of reaching an emergency medical center safely.

Emergency medical technicians may have a difficult job, but they are required to operate their vehicles safely, and the safety of passengers and drivers on the road must be a top priority.

Emergency vehicle drivers travel at high speeds; ambulances are vulnerable to serious accidents, predominantly if a driver is distracted, weary or inadequately trained. However, these drivers still have an obligation to perform their job responsibly and refrain from taking unnecessary risks and endangering their passengers or other motorists.

Paramedics and EMTs are on occasion subject to unusual fatigue due to long work hours, and also the same inattention and distraction other drivers may experience. Ambulance drivers may make mistakes, even when passenger’s safety is their main concern. Excessive speeding, distracted driving, driver fatigue, unsafely driving through intersection or lack of driver training are among some preventable causes of accidents. Nevertheless, they are trained professionals and are held to a high level of responsibility.

According to a report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) there are an estimated 6,500 accidents involving ambulances each year. On average, 2,600 people are injured in 1,500 ambulance accidents each year. Almost 60% of ambulance accidents occur during the course of emergency use. Of those killed in an ambulance accident, 63% were occupants of another vehicle, 21% were passengers in the ambulance, 4% were the ambulance drivers, and 12% were non-occupants.

There are several factors when considering the causes of an ambulance accident. In some cases, injuries result because the patient is improperly secured or objects within the cab of an ambulance are improperly secured or stored and can be thrown against the passenger. Some ambulance accidents are inevitable, and involve other negligent drivers, others may result from the negligence of ambulance drivers, hospitals or medical transport providers.

Reports indicate that almost a third of ambulance accidents result in injuries and half of those injured, are occupants of the other vehicle involved. Common injuries suffered by ambulance accident victims are lacerations, bone fractures, brain injuries, whiplash, spinal injuries paralysis and burns.

When drivers of emergency vehicles fail to show reasonable safety precautions and injuries result from their negligent acts, you may have a legal claim and receive compensation for medical costs, physician office visits, physical therapy, lost wages or future income, to name a few.