Medical transport services are often used by the elderly and disabled to get from their home or nursing home to a doctor's office, dialysis clinic, outpatient treatment clinic or hospital. A surprising number of people are injured due to accidents in transit. Injuries may be sustained when the transport company is negligent in securing the patient or leaves a patient unattended. Examples of types of medical transport accidents include slip and fall accidents getting into or out of the medical transport vehicle, wheelchair accidents, accidents during transit due to not properly securing a patient, and accidents in parking lots, on sidewalks, in elevators, medical offices, hospitals or nursing homes.
What is the Duty of Care for Medical Transport Companies?
Medical transport companies are businesses that advertise the services they provide to the general public and accept payment for transportation services. Thus, they may be considered "common carriers." In the state of California, "a carrier of persons for reward must use the utmost care and diligence for their safe carriage, must provide everything necessary for that purpose, and must exercise to that end a reasonable degree of skill." (Civ. Code ? 2100). Furthermore, the California Book of Standard Civil Jury Instructions sets forth the duty of care for common carriers: "Common carriers must carry passengers [or property] safely. Common carriers must use the highest care and the vigilance of a very cautious person. They must do all that human care, vigilance, and foresight reasonably can do under the circumstances to avoid harm to passengers [or property]." (Source: CACI 902).
How Much Compensation are Medical Transport Accident Victims Entitled To?
Victims of medical transport accidents may suffer serious or even fatal injuries. If a medical transport company employee's negligent actions caused an injury, the victim is entitled to damages for medical expenses, lost earnings, and pain and suffering. Such cases may be complex and difficult to prove. If you have been injured, consult with an attorney with proven experience in medical transport accident cases. Most California personal injury attorneys provide services on a contingency fee basis, which means you do not pay any legal fees unless you win your case.