After a car accident or injury in Philadelphia, paramedics and emergency medical technicians (EMTs) rush to the scene to stabilize the victim and transport them to the hospital. Critical EMT and paramedic errors can have devastating and even fatal consequences. Despite education and training, these professionals can and do make mistakes that cost lives. Who can you turn to if a negligent paramedic or EMT has caused harm to you or a loved one?
The medical malpractice attorneys of Cooper Schall & Levy are here to help. We have experience handling paramedic and EMT negligence throughout Pennsylvania, and we will go to work to demand the compensation you and your family deserve.
Common Paramedic And EMT Errors in Philadelphia
There’s a lot that can happen from the time 911 is called until the accident or injury victim arrives at the hospital. That leaves room for a variety of paramedic and EMT errors, such as:
- Not responding to the accident in a timely manner
- Not transporting the victim to the hospital in a timely manner
- Medication errors such as incorrect drugs or dosages
- Administering incorrect medical procedures
- Not being properly trained to perform the correct medical procedure
- Failing to stabilize the victim
- Failing to identify injuries, including life-threatening ones
- Ambulance driver negligence that causes an automobile accident
These are only a few of the mistakes that paramedics and EMTs can make. Errors like these can cause a patient to suffer avoidable, life-altering injuries or even die.
The Legal Duties Owed By Paramedics And EMTs in Pennsylvania
While responding to accidents and injuries and caring for victims is certainly stressful, these professionals are expected to be prepared for what they do. Paramedics and EMTs receive the training necessary to:
- Respond to and assess the needs of an accident victim
- Address the most critical, life-threatening needs first
- Administer certain medications and medical procedures
- Use the proper medical equipment at their disposal as necessary
- Communicate critical information about the victim to other professionals
- Move and transport the patient in a manner that doesn’t aggravate injuries
Failure to carry out these and other responsibilities in a professional manner can be considered medical malpractice.
Proving Medical Malpractice In Pennsylvania
Medical malpractice is more than simply making a mistake. Paramedics and EMTs are not expected to be perfect, and even the best-trained professionals can make an excusable error. The difference between this and malpractice is whether the mistake is reasonable.
To demand monetary compensation, the injured patient has to prove that the paramedic or EMT fell short of the required standard of care that was owed to them. More specifically, the following elements must be established:
- Duty. This means the paramedic or EMT owed a duty of care to the patient as specified above.
- Breach. A breach occurs when, by some act or omission, the professional fails to uphold their duty. This is typically the most contested aspect of a negligence lawsuit.
- Causation. The breach must actually cause harm to the patient.
- Damages. The harm results in economic and/or non-economic damages.
Damages You Can Recover in a Pennsylvania EMT Negligence Claim
Paramedic and EMT malpractice can lead to permanent, life-changing injuries and disabilities. An injured patient can develop a disease, lose an arm or leg, become paralyzed, or otherwise suffer problems in addition to whatever they were being treated for. The patient may require hospitalization, surgery, expensive medications, and other measures to recover. More intensive treatments such as physical therapy or rehabilitation could be necessary. The injured victim may also require adaptive medical equipment in the home or office.
The victim can expect to lose additional time from work during treatment, recovery, and medical appointments. In some cases, the victim will not be able to return to work at the previous level of productivity. These and other work-related losses may be recoverable from the negligent party.
You may also seek compensation for non-economic damages such as pain and suffering or emotional distress. These are more subjective damages that are not easily quantifiable. Having a skilled Philadelphia medical malpractice attorney is essential to holding the at-fault party liable for your injuries.
An experienced malpractice lawyer will also explore the extent of your injuries to make sure the compensation you ask for is fair. Not all damages are readily apparent after an injury. And many, such as those concerning the long-term effects on your work and earnings prospects, are difficult to calculate.
At Cooper Schall & Levy, we regularly collaborate with a respected network of financial experts who can help to assess the fair dollar value of your case. Above all, we will fight to win you compensation that considers all your future medical and financial needs.
Taking Legal Action After EMT Errors in Pennsylvania
In Pennsylvania, victims of medical malpractice – including that involving paramedics and EMTs – have two years to take legal action. That means either two years from the date of the injury, or two years from the date the injury should reasonably have been discovered. This is known as a statute of limitations, and failure to abide by it could jeopardize your ability to recover any damages at all.
Medical issues can complicate the statute of limitations. Some injuries take a significant amount of time to develop. Or they cause other complications that themselves do not manifest until later. If you believe that a paramedic or EMT breached their duty of care towards you and caused injury, it’s important that you speak with an attorney right away so you don’t miss your filing deadline.
Contact Our Philadelphia EMT Errors Attorneys Today
Accident victims who are being treated for their injuries by paramedics and EMTs deserve the highest level of professional treatment. There’s no excuse for medical malpractice, especially when lives are on the line. If you or someone you love has been injured because of paramedic or EMT negligence, let Cooper Schall & Levy fight for you. Reach out to us today to learn more.