Yesterday, my grandmother was being transported by a transport service for the disabled (she is in a wheelchair). It seemed that she and her chair were securely fastened in the back of the van. However, at one point during the ride the van braked very hard. The sudden brake threw my grandmother out of her wheelchair and onto the floor of the vehicle. She was complaining about pain in her leg afterwards, and today the x-ray revealed that she suffered two fractures in her right leg. This is very troubling, because she was already paralyzed on her left side from a stroke she suffered. Now, she is unable to bear any of her own weight, which makes her care tremendously more challenging. Additionally, the facility she is currently staying at requires its patients to be able to bear their own weight. She is now in danger of being kicked out of this facility.
What type of compensation can we seek from the transportation company? My grandmother does not work so there is no loss of wages, but certainly she should be compensated somehow, right? We would really appreciate some help on this, we are all very worried about how we will care for her moving forward.
I have a similar case in suit right now. Your Grandmother should not be transported unless she is secure in her wheelchair and the wheelchair is secured in the van. There are state and federal guidelines that come into play, depending on whether your grandmother was receiving Medicare of Medicaid benefits that paid for the transportation. She can recover for her cost of treatment for the injuries, and other damages, such as pain and suffering. You will need help with this case.
I am so sorry to hear of the serious injuries your grandmother suffered yesterday and of the complications these injuries are causing her, and which they may cause her moving forward. Non-emergency medical transport vehicles (NEMTs) have a responsibility to transport elderly and otherwise disabled passengers safely and to ensure their passengers are properly secured and seat-belted. They are also required to carry insurance to compensate passengers for injuries which occur when they fail to do so. You should definitely retain an attorney who understands that her case should not be handled as a simple automobile wreck case would be, and this is definitely not a case I would recommend you try to handle on your own. Most of us offer free consultations and work on contingency, so there is no reason not to reach out to one of us for help. Again, I am very sorry your grandmother is going through such a difficult time.
Answers to questions are for general purposes only and do not establish an attorney-client relationship. Please keep in mind that every jurisdiction has statutes of limitation and other laws that will have the effect of time-barring a potential claim. These deadlines differ from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Consulting with an attorney quickly is the best way to protect yourself.
I'm sorry your grandmother was abused this way. Having had my own health issues in years past and seen some problems in my own transport, I know such things happen, and they should not. This is NOT a DIY project so do not deal with insurers, or the company. You need to reach out an hire a lawyer, and here on AVVO is a good place to reach counsel. In this type case there would be no fee unless you won. The potential outcome depends on what medical coverage she has, the details of the injury and her transport, and other factors, but she likely can recover medical bills, pain and suffering and perhaps other amounts. There's no fee for a lawyer consult in this type matter, so do that as soon as possible.
I hope your grandmother recovers quickly and is not in too much pain.
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Your grandmother's best bet to obtain the maximum settlement amount in this case is to ensure she has completed the necessary medical treatment and consult with an attorney in her area to obtain a more specific answer and get all of her legal options before deciding what to do. The attorney will also investigate all available coverages to ensure she has the maximum amount of coverages available to her.
Either she or you can use the "Find a Lawyer" link at the top of this page for names of attorneys in your area. Most offer a free consultation and work on a contingency fee basis, so she won’t have to pay anything up front.
Good luck to both of you!
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