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Paramedic/EMT Errors Leading to Medical Malpractice Cases

Malpractice suits in the Empire State can take numerous shapes. Lawsuits can be filed against any healthcare provider, including dentists and dental hygienists. First responders including EMTs, paramedics, and ambulance drivers seldom face claims of medical negligence, but they do occur.

Paramedics and emergency medical technicians (EMTs) were likely the initial responders to any medical emergency you’ve ever experienced. First responders play a crucial role in the treatment of patients with life-threatening injuries or illnesses. They need to get to patients quickly and effectively. A patient’s prognosis and the likelihood of making a full recovery from an illness or injury are significantly affected by how well they are cared for by a paramedic.

Medical evaluations and emergency care are provided by paramedics and EMTs, however, they do not have medical degrees and are not doctors. It can be challenging to argue that they should be held accountable when their mistakes result in injury to others, as they are generally shielded from culpability. A victim of first responder negligence may be entitled to compensation in some circumstances and should consult a lawyer about their legal options. The aggressive attorneys at DeFrancisco & Falgiatano in Upstate New York know what it takes to win medical malpractice cases. If you were hurt because of a negligent EMT or paramedic, we will do all in our power to get you the compensation you deserve. We have offices throughout Upstate New York to better serve our injured clients. The success we’ve had for our clients in cases involving medical negligence is a direct reflection of our years of experience in the industry.

In most cases, paramedics are employed to respond to 911 calls reporting medical emergencies. Assessing a patient’s condition and providing critical care such as oxygen therapy, intravenous line insertion, and defibrillation are expected of them on the job. Paramedics’ responsibilities also include securing patients and transporting them to hospitals in a safe manner. Working as an EMT is not easy. In the moments following an accident or other medical emergency, the care a patient receives might be crucial. The positive or negative result of a patient is often determined in large part by the care they receive. Many patients might never get the chance to benefit from surgeons’ expertise if it weren’t for EMTs.

Bad decisions made by EMTs or paramedics during ambulance calls can have devastating effects on victims. Delays in responding to emergencies, patients being dropped while being loaded or unloaded, incorrect diagnoses, failure to recognize potentially life-threatening symptoms, and inadequate monitoring of vital signs en route to the hospital are all examples of critical errors. Medical malpractice may occur when EMS providers behave negligently or fail to act. The first category includes care and treatment errors, such as those that occur when a doctor botches an operation, gives the wrong prescription, or moves a patient who has had major neck or back injuries. Another form of medical error is the failure to do something that should have been done, such as failing to identify a life-threatening condition like a heart attack, failing to transport a patient to the hospital when emergency care is required, or forgetting to provide a life-saving drug. Miscommunication within the ambulance or between the ambulance and emergency room staff is the third form of medical negligence. Lack of communication or miscommunication between EMS and hospital staff can constitute medical negligence if EMS misses a patient’s telltale indicators of a stroke. Mistakes in communication are a frequent source of medical mistakes. The duty of care owed by paramedics and EMTs to their patients is quite high. They usually do a good job at what they’re supposed to do. Sometimes, however, they fail to do so, leading to deterioration or even death for their patients.

To file a claim for damages against a volunteer ambulance squad under Section 3013 of the Public Health Code, you must prove that your injuries or the death of a loved one were caused by the gross negligence of an EMT, advanced emergency medical technician, or first responder. In order to be held liable for negligence, a volunteer emergency responder’s actions must show a conscious disregard for the safety of others or be motivated by malice. If a victim can show that a paramedic’s actions constituted gross negligence, the paramedic may be held financially responsible for the harm they caused. Medical expenses, such as those for surgery, hospitalization, and physical and occupational therapy, which are necessary because of the harm suffered or that will be needed in the future, are compensable damages. Lost wages and medical bills incurred as a result of the injury are also covered. Damages for emotional distress, physical discomfort, and loss of enjoyment of life are sometimes awarded to accident victims alongside monetary recompense. After establishing (1) that the paramedic or EMT owed the patient a duty of care to act prudently, as a reasonable EMS provider in a similar situation would, the patient must then establish, (2) that the paramedic or EMT breached this duty of care by failing to act as a reasonable professional would, (3) that the patient suffered an injury as a result of this breach, and (4) that the patient’s injury was caused by this breach and not by some other factor.

Proving paramedic or EMT malpractice can get complicated and requires an experienced legal mind. If you or someone you love was injured by a negligent paramedic or EMT, schedule a consult with the expert medical malpractice attorneys at DeFrancisco & Falgiatano.  We represent injured clients and their families throughout Upstate New York, including Syracuse, Rochester, Albany, Elmira, Binghamton, Auburn, Ithaca, Oswego, Norwich, Herkimer, Delhi, Cooperstown, Cortland, Lowville, Oneida, Watertown, Utica, Canandaigua, Wampsville, Lyons, and surrounding areas.  Please call us at 833-200-2000 or contact us via our online form to discuss your case.

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