Emergency medical technicians (EMTs) can substantially affect a person’s recovery from a medical emergency. Often they’re the first people to get to the site of an emergency. They have training and equipment, and must be prepared to properly respond to medical emergencies. They need to stay calm in spite of the stress and high stakes involved in emergency situations. If you believe you or a loved one were harmed due to EMT negligence, you can consult the experienced Syracuse medical malpractice attorneys of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano.EMT Negligence
It can be challenging to prove paramedic or EMT malpractice. Sometimes paramedics and EMTs make medical mistakes that result in significant patient harm. EMT errors that may constitute negligence could include making medication mistakes, improperly using medical equipment, failing to bring necessary medical equipment, delayed response, negligent or reckless driving of the ambulance, failure to stick with appropriate protocol or treatment, and diagnostic errors. Sometimes an emergency service fails to offer trained EMTs.
When a paramedic or EMT injures you during the provision of care, you may be able to bring a medical malpractice lawsuit to recover damages. Like other healthcare providers, EMTs and paramedics are supposed to act competently and reasonably when responding to an emergency. They should act or not act as a reasonable EMT or paramedic faced with the same circumstances would act or not act. If they don’t, they may be liable for any resulting injuries.Liability
Medical malpractice lawsuits in New York require you to follow a more arduous procedure than ordinary personal injury lawsuits do. You will need to file a written certificate of merit within 90 days of when your lawsuit is filed. The certificate needs to detail whether your attorney examined the details of the lawsuit and consulted with at least one licensed doctor, and that the attorney decided based on consultation with the doctor there was a reasonable basis for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit. Alternatively, it needs to state that an attorney isn’t able to comply with the consultation requirement even though he tried in good faith three different times to consult with three different doctors.When a Defendant is a Governmental Entity
Your case may be complicated by additional challenges, such as getting around the doctrine of sovereign immunity. In New York, if a municipality provides an ambulance service by EMTs in response to 911 calls, those personnel are performing a governmental function and can’t be held liable, except where they owed a special duty to the injured party. The court’s first issue will be to look at whether the municipal entity that provided the ambulance service was involved in a proprietary function or a governmental function when the claim arose. It can be held accountable in that circumstance if its actions are considered proprietary rather than governmental. When the actions are governmental you will need to show a special duty, which can arise if you belong to a class for whose benefit a law was enacted, the government entity voluntarily took on a duty to you beyond what was owed to society at large, or the municipality took affirmative control of a dangerous, acknowledged safety condition.
Additionally, under section 3013 of the Public Health Law, to recover damages from a volunteer ambulance squad, you will need to show that your injuries or your loved one’s death were caused by gross negligence on the part of an EMT, advanced emergency medical technician, or first responder. The volunteer emergency responders need to act in reckless disregard for others’ safety or with intent to harm in order to be held accountable for negligence.Syracuse Attorneys for Medical Malpractice Claims
If you were injured or a loved one died due to EMT negligence in or around Syracuse, you may be able to recover damages. At DeFrancisco & Falgiatano, our lawyers provide knowledgeable counsel to those injured in Syracuse, Rochester, and throughout Upstate New York, including in Canandaigua, Ithaca, Oneida, Utica, Binghamton, Cooperstown, Oswego, Lowville, Auburn, Watertown, Lyons, Herkimer, Elmira, and Wampsville. Call our firm at 315-479-9000 or contact us via our online form.