Non-Emergency Medical Transport (NEMT) is a relatively new industry that focuses on transporting the ill, elderly, or disabled individuals. In some cases, NEMT may also assist people in need of rehabilitative therapy, dialysis, or typical doctor’s appointments. Often, the elderly and people with disabilities are unable to make it to their medical appointments on their own. This is where medical transport vehicles come in. These companies provide a service that others rely on, and they expect they will make it to their destination safely.
Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case.
Accidents happen every single day in Oklahoma and throughout the United States, and sometimes they involve these specialized vehicles. With millions of NEMT trips made every single year, it should come as no surprise that accidents are also common. There are undoubtedly many advantages to these types of services, but it is also vital for the riders and their families to understand the potential dangers. Were you injured while being transported to a doctor’s appointment or rehab session? Contact AMA Law today. Our Oklahoma medical negligence lawyers have your best interests in mind and will do everything we can to support you.
Services Provided by Medical Transport Companies
There are, of course, many benefits to NEMT. For some, this is the only form of transportation to medical appointments. Without this kind of transportation, many people would be unable to receive the care they need. The importance of this cannot be understated. However, individuals who operate NEMT vehicles do make mistakes that can lead to serious accidents and injuries. NEMT cases differ from typical car or truck accidents in several different ways. If you or a loved one has the unfortunate experience of suffering a NEMT vehicle accident, you need a lawyer who understands these types of cases. At AMA Law, we understand the complicated laws surrounding medical transport cases. Our lawyers can help you recover the compensation you are entitled to following an accident involving a NEMT vehicle in Oklahoma.
Although many people associate medical transport with emergency care, countless patients utilize these services for other reasons. Some of the most common uses of non-emergency medical transport vehicles such as vans, buses, and ambulances include:
- Urgent care – Non-emergency urgent care includes an injury or other condition that requires immediate medical attention but is not life-threatening.
- Regularly scheduled doctor’s visits – Medical transport services can help elderly and disabled patients get to their doctor’s office for regular checkups in the event their loved ones cannot.
- X-rays and other diagnostic tests – There may come a time when a patient requires an x-ray or additional diagnostic testing but cannot make it to the appointment without the assistance of a medical transport company.
- Physical therapy – Medical transport services also help the elderly and disabled make it to physical therapy appointments. Often, individuals who are injured cannot walk and require assistance making it to these sessions.
- Other outpatient appointments – If a patient requires outpatient care like dialysis or chemotherapy, a medical transport company may come in handy.
These are just a few examples of scenarios that may require a medical transport vehicle.
Top Causes of Medical Transport Accidents
Medical transport companies employ drivers and caretakers tasked with the duty of getting patients safely to and from their destination. Often, they are responsible for door to door assistance. This means that patients must put their trust in these individuals to ensure they get to their intended destination safely. Unfortunately, accidents do happen, even to medical transport vehicles like ambulances.
Here are a few of the ways negligent medical transport employees may put patients at risk:
- The driver is to blame for a car accident that left the patient with injuries
- The patient suffers an injury following improper chairlift use
- NEMT employees must understand how to use chairlifts safely. When they do not, it can result in a catastrophic injury to the patient.
- Failure to properly secure a wheelchair inside the medical transport vehicle
- The caregiver acts negligently when transferring the patient to or from the wheelchair
- The caregiver or driver neglects the patient
- The transportation vehicle is not equipped with the required safety equipment
- The vehicle operators are not adequately trained
- Passengers are dropped while being loaded or unloaded from the vehicle
- The driver fails to report injuries
- The patient suffers injuries because of rough turns or abrupt stops
- Patients are unsecured and suffer an injury as a result
Injuries from Medical Transport Accidents
Many different things can go wrong for patients when being transported to their doctor’s appointment. In many cases, the individuals who require these types of services are disabled, injured, or living with other medical conditions that reduce their mobility. When these vehicles are involved in an accident when transporting patients, injuries may occur. Some of the most common injuries following medical transport accidents in Oklahoma include:
- Broken bones or lacerations
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injury
- Injury to internal organs
Wrongful Death During Medical Transport
If you lost a loved one in a medical transport accident, you might have the right to file a wrongful death suit. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the case, you may be entitled to recover compensation for the loss of a family member. Damages that are commonly recovered in these types of cases include:
- Medical bills
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
- Loss of wages
To learn more about medical transport negligence in Oklahoma, a contact AMA Law, and schedule an appointment today. We offer free consultations and are ready to provide you with the help and support you need.