The purpose of an ambulance is to quickly get to a person who has suffered an injury, to provide life-saving medical care, and to get them to the hospital as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, ambulance drivers are only human and in some cases, they can do the opposite of helping: They can cause serious danger.
California Law Allows for 24-Hour Shifts
The main issue is that, in California, private ambulance companies can schedule their drivers to work 24 hours in a row. The law further says that unless the driver gets five hours of uninterrupted sleep in the last eight hours of their shift, they are not allowed to work the next day. This means that a person could be on the schedule and working for 19 hours straight, take a five-hour nap, and be back to work. Do you think these people would be at their best?
Truck Drivers Have More Limits than Ambulance Drivers
One important factor to consider is that rules are in place to prevent truck accidents because those in power understand that the longer a person is driving, the less safely they can do so. Truck drivers can only work 14 hours in a 24 hour period, and only eleven of those hours can be spent driving. They also have rules on how often and how long their brakes need to be.
Consider that an ambulance driver is also driving yet they have additional duties, such as performing life-saving services. Why would a person be unsafe driving a truck but not unsafe driving an ambulance and performing medical procedures?
What You Can Do if an Ambulance Driver Caused or Contributed to an Injury
If you were injured directly by an ambulance driver, whether in a pedestrian accident, truck accident, or other accident, then the driver and/or the company they work for could be held accountable. Likewise, if you were injured and an ambulance was sent to you, and that person made a significant error in treating you that led to worsening your condition, then it could be possible to hold them accountable.
These Are Complicated Cases That Require the Help of a Personal Injury Attorney
There is a lot involved in determining who is at fault, who can be held accountable, and how to do so. For example, whether the ambulance was run by the city, county, state, or a private company will impact what your rights are and where a case can be filed.
The good news is that you do not have to try to figure this all out. You can contact a personal injury attorney at The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker by calling 800-333-0000. We can begin with a free legal consultation during which we will get the basics of your case and help you understand your options.