Paramedic and EMT Medical Malpractice CasesPublished: Jun 5, 2019 in Medical Malpractice, Personal Injury
Paramedics and emergency medical technicians (EMTs) provide lifesaving medical care in the critical moments between when an injury occurs and the patient’s arrival at a hospital. These practitioners must act quickly, and their interventions can make the difference between a full recovery and permanent damage, or even death. When paramedics or EMTs make a mistake or refuse treatment to patients in need, the patient can suffer as a result. Depending on the circumstances, patients may be able to pursue legal action against first responders who cause them harm.
Paramedics and EMTs are held to the same reasonable standard of care as other health care professionals; the reasonable standard in medical malpractice cases is the level of care that any similarly trained professional would provide in that scenario. When they fail to uphold this standard by delivering the wrong treatment, performing treatments incorrectly, or not providing treatment, they may be held liable for damage that occurs as a result.
Who is Liable?
There are several factors that can affect the emergency care a patient receives, all of which can affect who is held liable for injuries. If a call comes in to a 911 dispatcher, the information must get to a paramedic or EMT team. The ambulance must drive to the scene, where the EMTs stabilize the patient for the ride to the hospital. Once they arrive, the hospital’s staff takes over and directs the patient to the appropriate department.
Time is of the essence in an emergency, and a delay or an error at any of these stages can have devastating consequences for the patient. If the ambulance gets lost or lacks the necessary equipment, patients must wait to receive the treatment they need. If paramedics or EMTs administer the wrong drug or perform a procedure incorrectly, the patient may end up in worse condition than before. There are certain circumstances in which a first responder can refuse treatment to a patient; if they refuse treatment when those circumstances do not exist, they may have acted negligently.
While each state has its own laws governing liability, the central question is usually whether medical negligence was a factor. To establish medical negligence, the patient must prove that the paramedics or other parties failed to uphold the standard of care, that the patient suffered harm, and that the patient’s suffering was a direct result of the medical professional’s action or inaction. With many factors at play, it can be difficult to determine whether negligence occurred.
Edwardsville Medical Malpractice Lawyers at The Cates Law Firm, LLC Advocate for Victims of Paramedic Negligence
If you or someone you know was a victim of medical negligence, the Edwardsville medical malpractice lawyers at The Cates Law Firm, LLC will thoroughly review the facts of your case and hold the responsible parties accountable. We are committed to obtaining the compensation to which you are entitled. Call us today at 618-277-3644 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Swansea, Illinois, we represent clients in Belleville, Carbondale, East St. Louis, Granite City, Edwardsville, Chester, Waterloo, St. Louis, Madison County, St. Clair County, Monroe County, and Randolph County.