Ambulance accidents can be some of the most severe types of motor accidents. They endanger the lives of other motorists sharing the road with them and can also harm the patients and paramedics traveling in the ambulance. It can be challenging to determine fault in an ambulance accident. Reach out to an attorney near me to learn more about balance accidents and what steps should be taken after such an accident.
How likely are you to encounter an ambulance?
You may be wondering who is responsible for an ambulance accident, whether it is the driver of the ambulance or the other driver(s). Ambulance accidents are very complex, and determining fault can be tricky.
Every driver must know the etiquette for driving around ambulances and emergency vehicles. However, if you are still trying to figure out what to do when sharing the road with an emergency vehicle, the best thing to do would be to pull over. It is the easiest way to avoid making mistakes or getting into an accident.
Causes of ambulance accidents:
One of the leading causes of ambulance accidents is driver error. Ambulance drivers are often required to respond quickly to emergency calls and may be under a great deal of stress. They may also be required to drive at high speeds and navigate through heavy traffic, which can increase the risk of accidents. Factors such as fatigue, distraction, and poor decision-making can also contribute to driver error.
Poor vehicle maintenance
Another common cause of ambulance accidents is poor vehicle maintenance. Ambulances are often used for long periods and may be driven over rough terrain, which can take a toll on the vehicle’s tires, brakes, and other mechanical components. If these parts are not properly maintained, they may fail, leading to an accident.
Road conditions and weather
In addition to driver error and poor vehicle maintenance, other factors contributing to ambulance accidents include poor road conditions, inclement weather, and equipment failure. For example, an ambulance not equipped with proper lighting or sirens may be difficult for other drivers to see, increasing the risk of an accident.
Ambulance drivers are usually stressed as they must transport patients safely and quickly. Unfortunately, they frequently have to maneuver heavy traffic and crowded intersections. Some cases when the other driver – who is not the ambulance driver – is responsible for the accident is when they are:
- Speeding unnecessarily
- Driving while distracted
- Driving while drowsy
- Unable to yield to other vehicles at an intersection
Depending on the situation, the ambulance driver can also be held liable. In some cases, the EMS personnel may also be held responsible if they:
- Fail to secure the patient’s gurney
- Fail to secure the gurney to the emergency straps of the vehicle
- Fail to secure equipment, which may cause further injuries inside the vehicle
Common injuries in ambulance accidents
According to reports, nearly one-third of ambulance accidents result in some form of injury. It is most likely because emergency vehicles are larger and heavier than standard cars, causing more damage in a collision. You might believe that the ambulance keeps people safe, but this is only sometimes the case. Some of the most common injuries reported in ambulance accidents are:
- Internal injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Fractures or broken bones
- Whiplash and spinal injuries
Get help from a lawyer today
Ambulance accidents can be severe and even deadly, as they often involve emergency medical personnel responding to a crisis and transporting patients who may be critically ill or injured. Understanding the causes of ambulance accidents and the steps that can be taken to prevent them is crucial for both ambulance drivers and the patients they transport.
Ambulance accidents can be very traumatizing, and if you or a loved one has been involved, you need professional help. Schedule a consultation with an experienced attorney today and determine your legal options.
How to prevent ambulance accidents?
Safety and care
It is crucial to prioritize safety and take a proactive approach to risk management to prevent ambulance accidents. It can include implementing strict safety policies and procedures, training drivers on safe driving techniques, and conducting regular vehicle maintenance. Additionally, investing in the latest safety technology, such as collision avoidance systems and navigation tools, is essential, which can help drivers navigate through traffic and avoid accidents.
Proper training for equipment handling
It is also vital to ensure that all ambulance personnel is adequately trained and equipped to handle emergencies. Emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and paramedics should be taught advanced life support techniques. They should be familiar with the equipment and medications needed in an emergency.
What should be the priority after an ambulance accident?
The patient’s safety and well-being should be the top priority in an ambulance accident. Emergency medical personnel should be prepared to provide immediate medical attention to anyone who is injured and should work to stabilize the patient’s condition as quickly as possible.
Ambulance accidents can be severe and even deadly. It is essential to understand the causes of these accidents and take steps to prevent them. By prioritizing safety and taking a proactive approach to risk management, ambulance drivers and emergency medical personnel can help ensure their safety and the patients they transport.
What should be done after encountering an ambulance accident?
First and foremost, call 911 immediately to report the accident. Even if there are no visible injuries, it is essential to have emergency medical services on the scene to assess the situation and provide any necessary medical treatment.
If you or anyone involved in the accident is injured, staying still and waiting for emergency medical personnel to arrive is essential. Moving an injured person can cause further harm. If it is safe, try to make the person as comfortable as possible by positioning them in a way that will help them breathe more easily.
If you are not injured, check on the patients in the ambulance and the ambulance crew. If they are injured, provide first aid if you are trained. If they are not injured, ensure they are safe and out of harm’s way.
Suppose the accident was caused by the other driver; exchange contact and insurance information with them. If there were witnesses, try to get their contact information as well. Be sure to take photos of the scene, including the damage to the vehicles and the location of the accident.
Report the accident
After the accident, it is essential to contact your insurance brokers as soon as possible to report the accident. They will be able to guide you through the process of getting your vehicle repaired and any medical expenses covered. It is also important to contact your employer if you are an ambulance driver or crew member, as they may have procedures in place for reporting accidents.