If you have sustained an injury, you may be rushed to the hospital in an ambulance. While we think of ambulances as vehicles that can help us, and while they usually do, sometimes ambulances can get into car accidents. This could cause even more strain for a person who has already been injured, a loved one that is traveling in the ambulance with them, or healthcare professionals trying to help an injured party. Unfortunately, ambulance accidents do occur on the roads, and they can even cause fatalities. On this page, you can learn more about common causes of ambulance accidents, common injuries associated with these accidents, and how to recover compensation if you find yourself injured after an ambulance accident.
What Causes Ambulance Accidents?
Ambulance accidents may be more common than you would think, due to the high speeds that these vehicles travel at and the urgency with which drivers operate the vehicles. Even though other vehicles on the road are supposed to give the right of way to the ambulance, this is not always the case, or accidents may occur that do not involve other vehicles.
In addition, injuries may be sustained even if no accident occurs. This might happen if a passenger isn’t properly strapped into the vehicle, or if medical supplies are not properly put away or strapped down. The fast movements of the vehicle could jostle passengers or cause medical equipment to fly around and hit passengers.
Driver stress and fatigue could also lead to an accident. EMTs work long and stressful shifts. The constant strain of rushing to and from destinations in order to potentially save a life can take their toll on a driver and cause them to lose focus on the roads. This could lead to a collision with another motor vehicle or collision with an object, such as a utility pole, fire hydrant, etc.
Mechanical errors could also contribute to accidents on the road. Ambulances and other emergency vehicles should frequently be checked to make sure that they are in proper working order. This is usually the job of the hospital or the company that owns the ambulance. Issues such as faulty brakes, low tire pressure, faulty headlights/tail lights, etc. could contribute to an accident that may injure passengers.
Because ambulance passengers are oftentimes already injured, because it can be hard to strap in those traveling in ambulances, and because these vehicles travel at such high speeds, accidents could be even more dangerous for ambulance passengers than those in regular motor vehicles. A few common injuries include broken bones, spinal injuries, traumatic brain injuries, internal injuries, whiplash, and more.
If you or a loved one has been injured while traveling in an ambulance and you want to seek compensation, the first thing you should do is determine who is at fault for the accident. Did the driver act with negligence, and did that lead to the accident? Did another driver cause the accident? Is the hospital or company that owns the vehicle responsible because the vehicle was not properly maintained? These are all questions that you should consider. If you need help determining the at fault party and how to proceed with a personal injury case, contact my office. I am happy to help.