Medical negligence is typically associated with doctors, nurses, and other hospital-based professionals. Often, however, the most devastating acts of negligence occur long before patients reach the emergency room.
Like any medical professional deemed responsible for patient suffering, EMTs can be held liable. Unfortunately, patients often struggle to prove negligence, as evidence surrounding EMT activity is often murky, at best.
Common Types of EMT Negligence
EMT negligence can take many forms. Some errors may prompt immediate damage, while others may impact later treatment efforts among doctors and nurses. Key mistakes include:
- Delays in arrival prompted by dispatch errors.
- Failure to check heart rate, temperature, or other vitals.
- Improperly administering CPR or other life-saving procedures.
- Use of unsterilized or unhygienic medical equipment.
- Administering the wrong prescription or using the wrong dosage.
- Refusing to transport patients to the hospital when they require prompt emergency care.
In addition to committing medical errors, EMTs may behave negligently behind the wheel. Their erratic driving could lead to accidents that injure already vulnerable patients or delay urgently needed care.
Holding EMTs Accountable
EMTs can be sued, but such cases may prove even more complicated than ‘typical’ malpractice suits involving doctors or nurses. First, multiple parties can be sued in cases involving emergency responders. Depending on the situation at hand, the patient could conceivably sue the ambulance service, the Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department, or the individual EMT.
If the EMT is sued, the plaintiff must demonstrate that he or she failed to abide by a reasonable standard of care. From there, a clear link must be established between the allegedly negligent behavior and the patient’s suffering.
If you’ve been harmed by a negligent EMT, you owe it to yourself to speak out. The team at Regan Zambri Long PLLC can provide targeted support to improve your chances of emerging with a positive legal outcome. Reach out today to learn more about our medical malpractice services.