EMS Mistakes: When Is An EMT at Fault?

First responders have an incredibly difficult job. EMTs and Paramedics are tasked with being the first responders in a line of medical professionals responsible for saving lives. They must arrive at a scene, administer lifesaving care, and get a patient to the hospital. But what happens when an EMT makes a mistake? Who will be held liable? At The Weitz Firm, LLC, our knowledgeable and experienced Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyers want to discuss this topic. If you or a loved one have been harmed due to the negligence of a healthcare professional, we are here to help.

What does EMT negligence look like?

Just like any other licensed or certified healthcare professional, EMTs and paramedics must perform their duties at an appropriate level of care. Some of the most common examples of what can go wrong include an EMT’s:

  • Failure to arrive at the scene in an appropriate timeframe after receiving the call
  • Failure to maintain and upkeep ambulance equipment
  • Failure to obtain a patient’s medical history
  • Improper use of medical devices
  • Failure to check vital signs continuously during the call
  • Failure to check airflow and breathing regularly
  • Administration of the wrong medication or an incorrect dosage
  • Negligent driving behavior when transporting the patient
  • Refusal to treat a patient due to discrimination (sexual, racial, etc.)
  • Misdiagnosis or Inappropriate treatment

There are various levels of EMT certifications – Basic, Intermediate, Paramedic. Each of these levels is allowed to perform certain skills and administer certain medications. A patient requiring paramedic level care should never be left to the care of an intermediate or basic EMT. This could constitute negligence on the part of the agency the EMTs work for.

Who can be held liable for an EMTs mistake?

In most cases, the agency or provider the EMT works for will be held accountable for the EMT’s negligence. This can include:

  • Private transportation companies
  • Medical facilities that employ EMTs
  • Government entities (county or city)

Can these cases become wrongful death cases?

Yes, a medical malpractice case involving an EMT or paramedic can become wrongful death cases. It must be proven that the negligent actions of the EMT led to the death of the patient. Like a medical malpractice case, a wrongful death case requires extensive investigation.

Let us get to work on your case today

If you or someone you love has been injured due to the careless or negligent actions of an EMT, please seek legal assistance today. At The Weitz Firm, LLC we specialize in medical malpractice cases. Our goal is to fully investigate what happened in your case so we can secure the compensation you deserve. This can include:

  • Compensation for all medical expenses related to the error(s)
  • Coverage of lost income and benefits if you cannot work
  • Loss of enjoyment of life damages
  • Pain and suffering damages
  • Punitive damages against the healthcare provider or agency responsible

When you need a Philadelphia medical malpractice attorney, you can contact us for a free consultation by clicking here or calling 267-587-6240.



    We are highly selective in the cases we undertake to ensure that can give each client his full attention. You can schedule an appointment for a personal injury consultation at our Philadelphia office by calling us, or by filling out our online intake form.