Can Wrongful Death Occur in the Ambulance?

When we think if wrongful death in a medical setting, typically we think of mistakes made in the ER, surgical errors, wrong medication, or any number of medical negligence in a hospital setting. However, in truth, wrongful death can easily occur even before a patient gets to a hospital due to action – or inaction – on the part of the EMTs transporting them there.

While EMTs have some of the most stressful jobs, they are prone to the occasional mistake, whether it be due to that stress or a lack of crucial knowledge. When these mistakes result in death, it can still be wrongful death, and you just have to know how to prove it to get your justice.

Circumstances of Wrongful Death in Ambulances

Negligence can occur during the ambulance rides, but many people don’t realize that it could have ultimately caused the death of a loved one. We are quick to blame the doctors in that regard, but it could have been an issue with first responders as well. If a loved one has passed away during the ambulance ride, consider the following:

  • Medication Errors – The troubling thing about EMTs is that they often cannot administer medication without first knowing what you are on. They are required to ask patients or family if the person is on certain medications that may interfere with what they want to administer. If they do not ask, or administer the medication anyway, it is clear negligence.
  • Wrong Diagnosis – It is not an EMT’s job to diagnose you. Instead, they are to treat any life-threatening conditions and those symptoms while getting you to doctors that will diagnose you. If they take steps to treat your illness beyond what is life-threatening and it causes death, then it can be wrongful death.
  • Ambulance Crash – We don’t often hear of ambulance crashes, but they do happen. Often a driver is eager to get a patient to the hospital quickly, but that doesn’t always mean they will get there safely. As you can imagine, ambulance crashes can be extremely damaging, if not deadly.
  • Miscommunication With The Hospital – When the ambulance arrives, the EMTs are responsible for relaying all symptoms and conditions to the doctors in the ER. If they fail to communicate a crucial symptom to the doctors, it can cause a fatal mistake and they can be held responsible.

What to Do After a Death in the Ambulance

In some cases, there may have been nothing that the EMTs could do to in order to prevent a patient’s death. They are required to try resuscitating measures, but that may not be enough. If you believe that a wrongful death occurred due to some action or inaction on the part of the EMTs, you are afforded the right to file a wrongful death suit. Unfortunately, as there is often a lack of witnesses in the ambulance, these cases may be exceptionally difficult. Furthermore, you will find that EMTs tend to protect their own in these cases.

Your best option is to get in touch with a lawyer to go over your potential case and what options you can take. Gathering evidence for a wrongful death case in an ambulance can be difficult, but lawyers often have many options available to them that can help. It can turn a hopeless situation into a successful wrongful death suit in many cases.

If you are in the Los Angeles area and believe a loved one perished due to negligence in an ambulance, contact us today. The Law Office of Freeman & Freeman is dedicated to getting both justice and compensation for those who have been wronged. Let us help you get what you deserve.

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