First responders, such as emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and paramedics, save the lives of people every day. They are often a sick or injured person’s first access to medical care in the event of an emergency.
EMTs and paramedics are responsible for maintaining patients’ health until they are able to see a doctor. Like any medical professional, they owe a duty of care to their patients. An emergency responder could be liable in a medical malpractice case if they are negligent in their responsibilities.
Delayed Ambulance Response Time — Who is Liable?
People call an ambulance for the purpose of getting medical care — fast. Ambulances are often reserved for emergency situations. They not only transfer patients to a hospital as quickly as possible but provide treatment to them during the journey.
Every second that an ambulance driver does not arrive at an emergency scene, they endanger the life of the person in need. Just as any healthcare professional who delays treatment, first responders who do not promptly help patients could be liable for medical malpractice.
In cases of injury caused by a delayed ambulance response, parties other than the ambulance driver and paramedics could be responsible for the damages. Slow ambulance response is sadly more common in rural places where there are fewer medical establishments in the area. These instances may be the fault of outside forces other than a negligent ambulance driver, such as insufficient funding for medical programs, understaffing, or hospitals that are far away from the patient. It is possible that a peripheral party could be liable in a medical malpractice case if they are responsible for inadequate medical care in an area.
The Trip to the Hospital
Once a patient is picked up, the EMTs and paramedics have a responsibility to provide quality medical care on the way to the hospital. The promptness of an ambulance’s arrival could be irrelevant if the patient is not taken care of in the vehicle.
The first few moments after an injury are critical, and negligent medical care during the trip to the hospital can seriously jeopardize a patient’s health. When a patient’s condition seriously deteriorates during the ambulance trip, they may not respond to the treatment they receive at the hospital.
The people who are involved in every step of the medical process could be liable in instances of medical malpractice. At The Dickinson Law Firm LLC, we are dedicated to holding negligent EMTs, paramedics, doctors, and nurses responsible for the damages they cause.
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