Many handicapped people are reliant upon publicly and privately operated medical transportation companies to take them to and from doctor’s appointments and social functions. It is the responsibility of the drivers and transport companies to assure that these particularly susceptible people are transported safely. When disabled patients are injured while on a medical transportation bus or van, they are entitled to compensation for their injuries from the operator.
Fragile patrons, the need for handicapped transportation companies to take precautions
In particular, medical transport drivers need to take the necessary precautions to accommodate their passengers’ disabilities and medical needs. Despite the medical transportation companies’ responsibilities, we frequently encounter the following types of incidents that frequently give rise to serious injuries to or death of passengers:
- Unsecured wheelchairs that allow the patient to fall during a sudden stop
- Patients left in a van during extreme heat or cold
- Improperly used chair lifts
- Failing to use brakes on wheelchairs
- Patients dropped from wheelchairs or stretchers during loading or unloading
- Companies negligently hiring drivers with violent backgrounds
In Illinois, transportation companies are held to what is called “a high standard of care” or “high degree of care”. These can include private medical transport, buses, trains and even school buses. This means they are held to a higher standard then just “ordinary care” and are expected to take more precautions to ensure the safety of their passengers. This is especially true with disabled and medically debilitated persons.
Multiple Entities May Be To Blame For An Injury To A Disabled Person
In the case of a medical transport accident involving a handicapped person, it may be necessary to do a complete investigation to determine the parties that are possibly liable for the accident. For example, if a child in a wheelchair is injured while being transported to school, there are several possible scenarios and entities that may be liable in the accident. According to the National Registry Of Rehabilitation Technology Suppliers, common entities that are sued for negligence or liability in this circumstance could be:
- The school district
- The transportation company
- The transport driver
- Manufacturers of defective products, i.e. defective wheelchair
Due to the complexity these accidents can involve, having an experienced attorney to investigate all possible entities that may be responsible for an injury during medical transport is recommended. Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers has a team of experts that can look at all possible angles of the case and determine who it at fault for the accident, whether it is one entity or several that have some portion of liability.
Medical care for injuries involving disabled passengers during medical transportation
Although many of these injuries may appear relatively minor at first glimpse, they can frequently evolve into a more serious situation, given the fact that many of these patients are frail and in already weakened states. The liable entities such as the transport companies and their insurance carriers will have a legal team to protect their interests. It is important for victims of these types of accidents to have someone on their side that will take the time to prove that the injuries were sustained or made worse from the accident. This can take extensive research into the victims existing medical condition and expert testimony that the accident caused further medical issues.
Injury attorneys representing handicapped people in medical transport accidents
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers remains committed to representing the most susceptible members of society in personal injury and wrongful death matters. If you or a loved one suffered an injury during medical transport in Chicago or other towns throughout the State of Illinois, we would honor the opportunity to speak with you and begin an investigation into the incident for you. Our legal consultations are always free of charge with no obligation, so there is nothing to lose by discussing your case with us.
Resources for handicapped and disabled vehicle transportation:
AISHA BROWNE v. SCR MEDICAL TRANSPORTATION SERVICES, INC., a corporation, No. 1-04-0141
State of Illinois- Handbook for Providers of Transportation Services (PDF)
Related materials from Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers: