my 84 year old grandfather was being transported by an Ambulance Service to a hospital. When they were transferring him from the gurney to the bed at the hospital, the EMT dropped him. He was released from the hospital and returned to his rehabilitation facility that day(Friday). On Saturday he was complaining of back and leg pain and his entire back was bruised. On Sunday we had to take him back to the hospital because he was lethargic and incoherent. He was admitted to the hospital and diagnosed with having a small stroke.
Yes, You may have a claim if the EMTs were negligent in the transport of your grandfather. . I recommend you consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer who will know how to properly evaluate your case. There are many fine injury lawyers, but you should look for one with a lot of trial experience. As you talk to lawyers, you should ask them about their trial experience. As a former insurance company lawyer for almost 30 years, I have been behind the curtain. I know how insurance companies treat lawyers who do not try cases. The objective of the insurance company is to minimize the value of your case. The company will hire an experienced trial lawyer to achieve that end, which is why it is important that you have a competent trial lawyer on your side. The company needs to understand that if a fair settlement offer is not made, your attorney is prepared to go to court. Many lawyers advertise their services, but very few will go to trial. Instead, they will refer your case out to someone else as the case gets closer to trial. One of the first things an insurance company does is check the trial experience of your lawyer. I have seen first hand how "Low-Ball" settlement offers are often made to lawyers who do not try cases.
You are entitled to a better answer than to see a lawyer with trial experience.
The claim falls under MICRA with attendant limitations on attorneys' fees. The statute of limitations for medical malpractice is one year from the date of discovery.
Your grandfather will have no medical bills because they are paid by Medicare which has the right to recoup its expenditures from any lawsuit for personal injuries.
With 49 years of experience in major personal injury cases [partial record below] I expect that it will be extraordinarily difficult to prove that the stroke was caused by the injury, altho the patient may have suffered clotting as a result of the fall and that delivered the stroke. Ask your grandfather's doctors their opinion based on the nature of the stroke.
Your grandfather is at the end of his life expectancy, which makes his claim financially unattractive - experienced lawyers will confirm that there are many events which are outside the standard of care which do not have sufficient damages to merit the time and effort necessary to take on litigation. It is not because we don't care it just doesn't make sense financially. To understand this well, under no circumstances should you pay cash to hire a lawyer on an hourly basis to prosecute this claim unless you are ready to spend on the order of $10k to $25k with nil likelihood of getting it.
I wish you and your grandfather well, but the chances of hiring a lawyer on a contingency basis is remote.
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Your should contact a lawyer and get a free consultation. I suggest you get a copy of the medical records, ambulance records and bring them with you to the consultation. In order to know whether this is medical malpractice case a medical expert opinion will be required to assess the cause of the stroke.
It's possible. The question will be whether this is considered professional negligence or general negligence. And the answer to this question depends on what license the transport company employee had. Most transport company employees have nothing more than basic training in how to transfer a patient to and from the vehicle. They are not professionally licensed like a paramedic or EMT. If it's your basic transport company employee, then you can pursue a straight negligence case and it will be much better for your grandfather. However, if this is an actual EMT or other professionally licensed person, the argument will be your case involves professional negligence. A completely different set of laws will apply that are not helpful to injured individuals. You can look up MICRA in California and get an idea of the laws that apply. The best course of action is to contact a qualified attorney to discuss because this area of law is complicated. Most of us offer free consultations, so you should reach out and decide the best course of action.
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