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Paramedic Negligence After Florida Car Accident Spurs Lawsuit, Settlement

Some of the first people you’ll likely see in the aftermath of a serious West Palm Beach car accident are the Palm Beach County EMS workers. These include firefighters, emergency medical technicians and paramedics. Their appearance on site is a relief. It means help is finally here, and you trust them to give you the medical care you need and get you (or your loved one) to the hospital as quickly and safely as possible.

However, if these professionals fail to provide you with proper care or are in some way generally negligent, both on scene at the crash and during transport, you could have grounds for a personal injury claim or lawsuit against Palm Beach County (or whatever the respective government entity or private contractor).

This was exactly the scenario reported recently by The Palm Beach County Post after the county agreed to settle with a woman for $100,000 after she was allegedly dropped by paramedics loading her into the ambulance on a stretcher at a West Palm Beach car accident scene. 

The Post reported the incident involved a “gurney mishap” in 2012, after plaintiff suffered a neck and shoulder injury as a result of a collision wherein she was a passenger in a vehicle exiting I-95 at Lantana Road. The driver operating the car in which she rode yielded before merging onto Lantana, but the vehicle driver behind them failed to slow down or stop, resulting in a rear-end collision.

EMS crews were called to provide medical care and hospital transport to injured plaintiff crash victim. However, a mistake on their part caused plaintiff’s injury to be far worse, according to her attorney. The road on which the collision occurred was uneven. She was sort of hanging loosely around a bit and began to fall over the side of the gurney onto which she’d been placed, which put the weight on one side of the stretcher. The stretcher flipped and paramedics failed to have control over its stability. She smacked her head on the hard concrete, suffering a concussion.

When paramedics picked her up off the ground, she was a bit disoriented. Now 69, plaintiff has been awarded $100,000 from the county after three years of litigation (and six years since the crash).

Her West Palm Beach car accident injuries required surgery on both her right shoulder and neck and medical bills exceeded $200,000. However, she also suffered from a mild traumatic brain injury and now the former nurse is unable to work. This is noteworthy for the fact a long-time nurse can command an annual salary of $60,000 or more.

Her attorney called the case “kind of a funky one,” and our injury lawyers might agree with that assessment (assuming the facts as reported are accurate). That’s because this wasn’t exactly a medical malpractice case. It wasn’t exactly a car accident case. It was the result of general negligence, even though the paramedics were providing her crash scene care.

If a medical care provider is negligent in providing you care after a car accident, the claim you make for damages will be done likely separate and apart from the actual crash case. Talking to an injury lawyer experienced in handling both of these types of cases is imperative.

Call Freeman Injury Law — 1-800-561-7777 for a free appointment to discuss your rights. Now serving Orlando, West Palm Beach, Port St. Lucie and Fort Lauderdale.

Additional Resources:

Palm Beach County settles lawsuit from woman dropped by paramedics, Aug. 30, 2018, By Alexandra Seltzer, Palm Beach Post

More Blog Entries:

Wife Sues Husband After Truck Accident Results in Severe Injuries, Sept. 20, 2018, West Palm Beach Car Accident Lawyer Blog

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