Non-emergency medical transportation is a necessity for some people who cannot drive and have no one to take them to a doctor’s appointment, dialysis center, or other necessary care. Many of these passengers are seniors, have mobility concerns, live with other disabilities, or are too sick to drive.
However, what happens when there is an injury accident or other incident? Who has liability for your damages? The driver? The medical transportation company? Another party? A personal injury law firm can sort through questions about medical transportation liability, whether for non-emergency or emergency transport, such as an ambulance.
Medical Transportation Often Classified as a Common Carrier
While laws differ from state to state, most consider medical transports as common carriers—the same classification as buses and taxis. Common carriers have a significant duty to take steps to keep passengers safe. This duty extends to functions like loading and unloading passengers when it comes to medical transportation.
Patients who may already be sick, injured, or living with an impairment can suffer injuries in several ways, including:
- Traffic accidents
- Issues with securing their wheelchair or another assistive device
- Improper lifting technique
- Improperly used equipment
- Other loading or transferring accidents
When an accident or incident occurs, the driver or other staff member may be liable. In addition, respondeat superior laws could make their employer vicariously liable in most cases. A car accident lawyer can pursue a claim against both the driver and the company. In addition, the company may have acted negligently to cause or contribute to the accident by:
- Failing to maintain equipment properly
- Not adequately training its employees
- Keeping a driver on staff despite previous incidents
- Hiring a driver even when they were unqualified
For a free legal consultation, call 800-537-8185
Medical Transport Companies Must Have Insurance
Every state requires medical transportation companies to carry some level of liability insurance. This requirement can vary widely, but this is the insurance policy that should pay out following a crash. The company may also have a corporate policy to cover other injury accidents.
For example, in Louisiana, La. Admin. Code tit. 50 § XXVII-517 mandates all non-emergency medical transportation profit providers—known as NEMT in Louisiana—to carry a minimum liability insurance policy that covers:
- $25,000 bodily injury per person
- $50,000 bodily injury per accident
- $25,000 property damage policy
This policy could apply to victims in other vehicles and passengers in the transport.
Local Jurisdictions Could Have Stricter Prerequisites
Parishes and municipalities may have additional requirements. For example, the City of New Orleans requires at least:
- $100,000 bodily injury per person
- $300,000 bodily injury per accident
- $50,000 property damage per accident
- $300,000 in general liability insurance per accident
As you can see, New Orleans has dramatically increased the insurance requirements for NEMTs operating in the city. This regulation could make it easier to recover compensation if you or a loved one suffered an injury because of their negligence.
A Personal Injury Attorney Can Help You Understand Your Options
Building a personal injury case against a medical transport driver or company is rarely easy. This is especially true when you or a loved one already face severe medical concerns or require ongoing treatment for an illness. Working with a personal injury team like an attorney from the Morris Bart law firm can help.
Our team can explain the laws in your area and how to prove negligence occurred. We can research the insurance policies in effect. In addition, we can gather evidence, pursue a claim, and demand fair compensation from the insurer. Many of our cases resolve this way, thanks to lawyers who fight through settlement negotiations to get an appropriate agreement for our clients.
It is essential to connect with an attorney quickly after the injuries occur. Some states only offer a year to begin a lawsuit. Across the Gulf South, you generally have:
- Louisiana: One year (La. Civ. Code Art. 3492)
- Alabama: Two years (Ala. Code § 6-2-38)
- Arkansas: Three years (Ark. Code Ann. § 16-56-105)
- Mississippi: Three years (Miss. Code Ann. § 15-1-49)
You Can Connect With a Morris Bart, LLC, Attorney for Free Today
The Morris Bart law firm provides free consultations for those hurt in non-emergency medical transportation accidents and other med transport injury incidents. We can assess your case and help you determine the next steps you can take to pursue compensation. The areas we serve include all four Gulf South states. We are a contingency fee firm and never charge upfront fees.
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