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Jonathan Rosenfeld

March 2, 2023

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Chicago handicapped transport accident

Accidents happen, even in the realm of non-emergency medical transportation. These medical transport accidents can cause distress and complications for patients who rely on these services to attend medical appointments.

Accidents can sometimes lead to serious injuries and even medical transportation lawsuits. Understanding the causes, consequences, and steps to take after a medical transport accident is vital for everyone involved, from patients to medical transportation drivers.

Were you or a loved one injured in a medical transport accident? The personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC represent victims harmed using private and public transportation.

Contact us at (888) 424-5757 or use the contact form to schedule a free consultation with a Chicago non-emergency medical transportation accident lawyer to discuss your case.

The Vital Role of Non-Emergency Medical Transportation

Non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) is a crucial service for individuals who require assistance in reaching their medical appointments or facilities but cannot use conventional modes of transportation.

Definition of Non-Emergency Medical Transportation

Non-emergency medical transportation refers to providing transportation services for individuals who cannot use regular public or private transportation methods due to medical conditions, disabilities, or other health concerns.

These services often employ specialized vehicles, such as wheelchair-accessible vans or cars equipped with medical equipment [1], to accommodate patients’ needs.

Importance of Non-Emergency Medical Transportation

The importance of non-emergency medical transportation [2] cannot be overstated. For many individuals, NEMT services are the only way to access essential medical care, attend doctor appointments, and participate in physical therapy sessions.

By offering a reliable means of transport, these services play a critical role in improving the quality of life for those with mobility challenges and health conditions that restrict their use of traditional transportation options.

Understanding Non-Emergency Medical Transportation Accidents

Navigating the complexities of non-emergency medical transportation accidents is essential for patients [3], their families, and the professionals involved.

Causes of Accidents

Despite the best efforts of medical transportation companies and their drivers, medical transportation accidents can still occur. Some common causes of these accidents include:

  • Medical van driver error: Medical transport drivers fail to provide necessary care because they may be distracted, fatigued, or poorly trained, leading to mistakes on the road.
  • Vehicle malfunction: Medical transport vans may experience mechanical issues, causing accidents.
  • Improper loading/unloading: Mishandling of wheelchair lifts or unloading passengers may lead to falls or other injuries requiring urgent care.
  • Poor vehicle maintenance: Medical patient transportation companies and common carriers that fail to properly maintain their vehicles increase the risk of car accidents.
  • Adverse weather conditions: [4] Bad weather during medical transport can create hazardous driving conditions, leading to accidents.
  • Inadequate safety measures: Lack of safety features in the medical transport van or failure to secure patients and equipment properly can contribute to accidents, especially when handling too many patients.

Common Types of Injuries

Patients and passengers may suffer a range of injuries when a transportation accident occurs. Some common injuries sustained in these accidents include:

  • Broken bones: Fractures can result from the impact of the accident or falls during loading and unloading.
  • Soft tissue injuries: Sprains, strains, and contusions can be caused by sudden jolts or impacts during the accident.
  • Spinal cord injuries: Damage to the spinal cord can occur in more severe accidents, potentially leading to paralysis or other disabilities.
  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBI): [5] Head injuries, such as concussions or more severe TBIs, can result from the force of the collision or striking objects within the vehicle.
  • Aggravation of pre-existing conditions: The stress and trauma of an accident can exacerbate a patient’s existing health conditions, leading to complications.
  • Emotional trauma: The psychological impact of a transportation accident can be significant, leading to anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Establishing Liability in NEMT Accidents

In non-emergency transportation injuries, determining liability can be a complex process. Understanding their responsibilities and potential negligence is crucial for pursuing fair compensation.

Transportation Provider Liability

The transportation company may be liable for damages when a medical transport injury occurs. It could be due to negligent vehicle maintenance, inadequate driver training, or failure to comply with federal/state laws and industry standards [6].

Some factors that may indicate transportation provider liability include:

  • Poor vehicle maintenance
  • Inadequate safety measures that can harm a medical transport patient
  • Insufficient driver training or supervision

Medical Facility Liability

Sometimes, the medical facility arranging the non-emergency medical transport may be held responsible for an accident.

It could result from improper coordination with the common carrier transport company, a lack of communication regarding the patient’s needs, or negligence in selecting a reputable service provider.

Driver Liability

The medical transport driver also plays a significant role in ensuring patient safety. If a driver’s negligence or misconduct leads to an accident, they may be held liable for injuries or damages. Some examples of driver liability include:

  • Reckless or distracted driving [7]
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Failing to follow traffic laws or regulations

Manufacturer Liability

Sometimes, an accident can be traced back to a vehicle or equipment defect. When this scenario occurs, the manufacturer of the medical van or wheelchair lift could be held accountable. Situations, where manufacturer liability may be applicable, include:

  • Defective vehicle components
  • Poorly designed equipment
  • Inadequate safety features on medical transportation vehicles

Regulations and standards play a vital role in ensuring the safety and quality of NEMT services. These rules aim to protect patients from harm and reduce the likelihood of accidents.

Federal and State Regulations

Non-emergency medical transportation services must adhere to certain federal laws and state regulations, which vary depending on the location. Some of the key regulations include:

  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): [8] This federal law requires transportation providers to ensure accessibility and reasonable accommodations for passengers with disabilities.
  • State licensing and certification: Medical transport companies must meet state-specific licensing and certification requirements to operate legally.
  • Vehicle safety standards: Both federal and state regulations dictate the safety standards and inspection requirements for medical transport vehicles.

Industry Standards

In addition to adhering to legal regulations [9], non-emergency medical transportation providers should follow industry best practices to ensure patient safety and comfort. Some of these standards include:

  • Properly maintained and equipped vehicles: Medical patient transportation companies should maintain their vehicles in good working condition, including a chair lift, wheelchair, or medical device.
  • Clear communication and coordination: Effective communication between medical providers, patients, and transportation providers is essential for ensuring the smooth coordination of services.

Medical transportation companies provide reasonable care by complying with these regulations and adhering to industry standards. These efforts can help reduce the risk of medical transport accidents and provide a safe and reliable service for needy patients.

Securing Justice With An Experienced Chicago Non-Emergency Medical Transportation Lawyer

Are you or a beloved family member the victim of a non-emergency medical transportation accident? If so, our personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC can help you navigate the complex legal landscape and pursue fair compensation for your injuries.

Our experienced legal team will:

  • Thoroughly investigate the medical transportation accident, including gathering evidence, police reports, and witness statements.
  • Handle all communication with the medical transportation company, insurance companies, and other involved parties.
  • Ensure your medical bills and other expenses, including ongoing medical costs, are adequately documented and accounted for in your insurance claim.
  • Negotiate with private insurers and pursue compensation on your behalf, fighting for the best possible outcome in your personal injury case.
  • Represent you in court if necessary, presenting a solid legal argument to hold the negligent parties responsible for your injuries.

Our firm offers a free consultation to discuss your case and determine the best course of action for you. We work on a contingency fee basis, which means you won’t pay any fees unless your personal injury attorney successfully recovers compensation for your injuries.

Contact the best law firm for your personal injury lawsuit at (888) 424-5757 to discuss your case and learn more about how we can help you secure the justice you deserve.

Resources: [1] Hitachi, [2], [3] PubMed, [4] PubMed, [5] CDC, [6] NHTSA, [7] NHTSA, [8] ADA, [9]

Client Reviews

Jonathan Rosenfeld was professionally objective, timely, and knowledgeable. Also, his advice was extremely effective regarding my case. In addition, Jonathan was understanding and patient pertaining to any of my questions or concerns. I was very happy with the end result and I highly recommend Jonathan Rosenfeld.

- Michonne Proulx

Extremely impressed with this law firm. They took control of a bad motorcycle crash that left my uncle seriously injured. Without any guarantee of a financial recovery, they went out and hired accident investigators and engineers to help prove how the accident happened. I am grateful that they worked on a contingency fee basis as there was no way we could have paid for these services on our own.

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Jonathan helped my family heal and get compensation after our child was suffered a life threatening injury at daycare. He was sympathetic and in constant contact with us letting us know all he knew every step of the way. We were so blessed to find Jonathan!

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Jonathan did a great job helping my family navigate through a lengthy lawsuit involving my grandmother's death in a nursing home. Through every step of the case, Jonathan kept my family informed of the progression of the case. Although our case eventually settled at a mediation, I really was impressed at how well prepared Jonathan was to take the case to trial.

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