Emergency medical technicians are responsible for responding to emergency injuries. They provide critical treatment and transportation to patients who experience a health crisis or injury. These first responders have tough jobs and do amazing work.
But what happens when a paramedic makes a mistake or acts negligently while treating or transporting patients? Unfortunately, not all EMTs live up to the standard of providing excellent care.
First Responder Responsibilities
The core duties of paramedics include:
- Evaluating patients for injuries and life-threatening conditions
- Preparing patients for transportation
- Providing prompt and safe transportation to a nearby hospital or another medical facility
- Giving necessary care to patients until they arrive at the hospital
EMTs must adhere to these responsibilities thoroughly and quickly. While it is hard work, most paramedics do their jobs with great skill. Sadly, there are times where this is not the case.
Examples of paramedic negligence include:
- Failing to respond to an emergency in a timely manner
- Insufficient training
- Failing to have life-saving equipment on-hand
- Failing to evaluate breathing, circulation and airway of patients
- Misusing medical equipment
- Failing to document the incident
- Administering the wrong medications or incorrect dosage of medicine
When any of these things occur, there may be serious health consequences or even death.
Liability for First Responder Negligence
If you or somebody you know gets hurt or dies because of negligent actions by an EMT, you may want to take legal action. Depending on the details of the situation, possible individuals and entities who may have legal responsibility include:
- The individual first responder
- The ambulance company
- The hospital
- The county government
There are complex legal issues regarding EMT malpractice and negligence of medical service providers, so you should get advice from an attorney on who can be held liable.
The consequences of negligence by a first responder have the potential to be devastating, even fatal. Thankfully, you may be able to make a claim and recover damages.