When you get into a car accident or suffer an injury in any other accident or incident, paramedics and emergency medical technicians (EMTs) are usually the first people to arrive on the scene. Yes, paramedics and EMTs are first responders during an emergency, which is why their negligent acts or omission to act can result in devastating and irreparable harm.
Both paramedics and EMTs have to respond promptly, act quickly on the scene, revive the injured person from unconsciousness or apparent death, stabilize the victim, and transport the victim to the hospital for further diagnosis and treatment… “That sounds like a lot to handle, especially given that paramedics and EMTs have to work in stressful situations while being pressed for time,” says our Philadelphia paramedic and EMT negligence attorney from The Weitz Firm, LLC.
Given that both paramedics and EMTs provide critical care and have a long list of responsibilities during an emergency, these people must be specifically trained for emergency situations. Unfortunately, there are many cases in which paramedics and EMTs perform their functions and duties in a negligent or reckless manner.
Some of you might wonder, “What’s the difference between paramedics and EMTs?” The answer is quite simple, but we will let our experienced paramedic and EMT negligence attorney from Pittsburgh answer it. “In a nutshell, both paramedics and EMTs perform the same functions and duties, but the former have a higher level of education,” explains our lawyer.
What it means is that paramedics perform certain types of duties that EMTs are not qualified or permitted to perform during an emergency. For example, EMTs are qualified to give cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), but are not qualified to put in an IV or perform any other treatment that involves breaking the skin.
The main responsibility of both emergency medical technicians and paramedics is to keep the injured person alive and transport him or her to a hospital as soon as possible without exposing the victim to the risk of aggravating the injury or causing death. Basically, medical first responders arrive on the scene to prevent deaths and permanent injuries as well as to transport the injured victim to the hospital for further diagnosis and treatment.
The fast-paced and stressful environment paramedics and EMTs have to work in creates the breeding ground for negligence, carelessness, and recklessness. Unfortunately, even a seemingly minor mistake or act of negligence can cause life-long suffering, permanent injury, disability, or even death.
There can be many types of paramedic and EMT negligence, but the most common examples are:
Who should be held liable for paramedic and EMT negligence depends on the negligent medical professional’s employment status. Our Philadelphia paramedic and EMT negligence lawyer at The Weitz Firm, LLC, explains that the vast majority of hospitals in Pennsylvania classify their medical first responders, including paramedics and EMTs, as staff members. That means in the event of negligence on the part of a paramedic or emergency medical technician, you may be able to sue the negligent medical professional’s employer under the legal doctrine of vicarious liability.