Ambulance Response Times in D.C Cause Concern

There have been several recent incidents where slow ambulance response times resulted in seriously injured individuals having to wait a significant amount of time before receiving any type of emergency treatment. One Washington D.C. news source reported that during one week in March there were three incidents where injured people had to wait over 20 minutes before an ambulance arrived.

ambulance-1334534-mIn the first incident, an injured police officer called for an ambulance. However, it never arrived. Finally, fellow officers ended up taking the injured officer to the hospital. D.C.’s 911 center stated that unfortunately there were no ambulances available when the officer called for assistance. After the fact, the center claimed that generally ambulances should arrive within eight minutes of dispatch.

That same week, a motorcycle crashed into a car and became airborne as it was leaving a garage near 7th and E streets. The man suffered serious injuries, yet ambulances did not arrive until about 22 minutes after they were called to the scene. Finally, an individual was stabbed in southeast D.C. and needed emergency medical treatment. That victim had to wait almost 30 minutes for an ambulance to arrive.

The Mayor has attempted to improve response times by hiring a new fire chief. However, the president of the ambulance union claims that what is really needed are additional staff and ambulances.

Maryland Negligence Claims against Paramedics and Ambulances

It seems that there are not enough emergency medical responders in the DC area. So even when the ambulance finally does arrive it is possible that because they are overburdened the EMT’s treatment may not be what is expected. In such situations, the victim may suffer additional complications and injuries.

Many people believe that medical malpractice claims can only be brought against hospitals and doctors. However, when a paramedic or emergency medical technicians acts negligently, they may be held liable under a medical malpractice theory as well.

EMTs are often the first medical professionals whom an injured person comes in contact with. As a result of this, it is critically important that they act carefully and provide the injured victim with proper care and do not exacerbate any injuries.

Requirements of a Negligence Claim against Paramedics and Ambulances in Maryland

To bring a negligence claim in D.C., the plaintiff must be able to establish that the ambulance company, paramedic, or EMT acted negligently by breaching a standard duty of care. A standard duty of care is analyzed by comparing the behavior of the defendant to what another similarly skilled individual would do in the same situation. The plaintiff then must prove that the breach resulted in their injuries.

Have You Been Injured Because of the Negligence of a Medical Professional?

If you have been injured at any stage of your treatment because of the negligent care you received, you may consider bringing a medical malpractice suit against the culpable party. As you can see, there are often multiple parties that may be held liable, and apportioning liability may be difficult. It is important that you contact an experienced attorney to discuss your case and how to proceed with your claim. Contact the attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC at 410 -654-3600 to schedule a free initial consultation.

More Blog Posts:

Maryland Appellate Court Denies Hospital’s Appeal in Glen Burnie Birth Injury Case, Washington DC Injury Lawyer Blog, March 24, 2015

One Dead, Dozens Injured in DC Metro Smoke Incident, Washington DC Injury Lawyer Blog, January 16, 2015

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