Do I have a case if my father died while being transported by the hospital? 41 Answers as of July 08, 2013

My dad was picked up by ems. He was intoxicated so they thought it would keep him calm to sit him on a bench with a seatbelt instead of having him on the gurney. My dad freaked out demanded they pull over well they pulled over on a freeway. My dad then got out and ran across and when he did he was hit by a car and died. Do I have a case?

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Law Offices of Richard Copeland, LLC
Law Offices of Richard Copeland, LLC | Richard Copeland
Whether or not you've got a case is going to require someone to pin down all of the facts, and consultation with an expert may well be needed in reaching an opinion about the liability of the EMS personnel. You need to seek out a lawyer who handles claims against health care providers. Get a copy of all communications between the EMS unit and anyone else, i.e., the person who called for EMS, the technicians, law enforcement, hospital staff or doctors, etc. Get a copy of the accident report, the EMS records, and any other records pertaining to the accident so you can give them to the lawyer with whom you consult. F
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 8/11/2011
The Law Office of Josh Lamborn, P.C.
The Law Office of Josh Lamborn, P.C. | Josh Lamborn
Once your father was taken into custody by medical personnel, they had a duty to care for him. There is an argument that since they likely knew that he was intoxicated and acting irrationally they should have restrained him and that their care for him was negligent. Additionally, you would want to know if the EMS workers followed their protocol in handling a patient such as your father. However, there is going to be some sympathy for these EMS workers who were just trying to do a difficult job with a person who caused his own problems by getting intoxicated and acting irrationally. Depending on all of the facts of your case I can see it going either way. You should at least get the records from the incident, including police reports, EMS reports and medical examiner's report and consult with a personal injury attorney specializing in wrongful death cases.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 8/9/2011
Ewusiak & Roberts, P.A.
Ewusiak & Roberts, P.A. | Joel Ewusiak
Sorry to hear about your loss. Based upon your fact pattern, your father would likely share some of the liability for leaving the vehicle on his own. However, there may be some negligence on the part of the emergency vehicle personnel for failing to secure him in the vehicle in light of his condition. If a claim exists, it would be pursued as a wrongful death case. Keep in mind that wrongful death cases are subject to a short statement of limitations period (e.g., two years), so you should secure an attorney as quickly as possible if you wish to pursue a case.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 2/16/2012
Bernard Huff, Attorney/Mediator
Bernard Huff, Attorney/Mediator | Bernard Huff
Consult with an accident or personal injury attorney. The ems can only be liable if they were negligent in the manner in which they handled your father who was intoxicated while under their care.
Answer Applies to: Indiana
Replied: 8/9/2011
Andrew T. Velonis, P.C.
Andrew T. Velonis, P.C. | Andrew Velonis
If you do have a case, it's a tough one. You will have to prove that they violated an appropriate standard of care. That calls for researching regulations and probably an expert witness as well. On the other hand, I would think that ambulance personnel are regularly called upon to help intoxicated persons, so there may be protocols that apply.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 8/9/2011
    Law Office of Mark J. Leonardo
    Law Office of Mark J. Leonardo | Mark Leonardo
    You may have a case if this was against their established protocol. Sorry to hear of the loss of your father.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    The Torkzadeh Law Firm
    The Torkzadeh Law Firm | Reza Torkzadeh
    First of all, I am so sorry for your loss. It sounds to me like you certainly may have a wrongful death claim for the loss of your father. One would need a lot more information regarding circumstances surrounding your fathers death to give you a proper legal analysis of all of your rights, causes of action and potential defendants. I suggest you immediately contact an attorney with experience in handling wrongful death cases regarding this case. You can contact my office 24/7 for a free no obligation legal consultation at 888.222.8286. I am happy to speak with you regarding your rights. Please note that there are time limits in California in which you can bring a claim. Should you fail to make a claim within the legally set time period, you will forever lose your rights to do so.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/19/2012
    Gregory Casale Attorney at Law
    Gregory Casale Attorney at Law | Gregory Casale
    I would have to get a few more details, but it certainly sounds like you have a strong case. If you would like to discuss this in more detail I would be happy to get together with you and get all the details. I am very sorry for your loss, especially a loss that could have and should have been avoided. Sadly there is no way to bring back a loved one. The only way to ensure that it doesn't happen to someone else is to bring suit.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    LT Pepper Law
    LT Pepper Law | Luke T. Pepper
    There is a potential case here. The theory being that the EMS should have done more to prevent the accident. I am very sorry for your loss.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Law Office of Travis Prestwich, PC
    Law Office of Travis Prestwich, PC | Travis Prestwich
    I am sorry to hear about your father. You probably do have a case because the EMTs should have not have let your dad out on the freeway. Even if he demanded being let out, they should have taken him to a safer location before doing so.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    Yes. I think that you have a case. Be careful. If the EMS was municipal, then you will have to file a notice of claim. Consult with a personal injury attorney right away.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Ewusiak & Roberts, P.A.
    Ewusiak & Roberts, P.A. | Christopher J. Roberts
    Sorry for your tragic loss. You probably have a case for negligence. Assuming the ambulance people knew your father was intoxicated and assuming they could have controlled him, they should not have let him run out of the ambulance in traffic. Obviously an argument could be made that your dad was at fault himself for , but once the EMS folks took him in they should have taken reasonable steps to keep him safe. A jury would ultimately have to decide who was at fault. You should talk to a personal injury/wrongful death lawyer right away. Note that you have a limited time to file a wrongful death suit in Florida (usually two years).
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 2/20/2012
    Oliver Law Office
    Oliver Law Office | Jami Oliver
    That is an unusual set of facts, for sure. However, the basic law in Ohio is that anyone who has a duty to use reasonable care is required to do so. The EMS driver had a duty of care to your father, who was a patient. The next question is whether the driver and other personnel breached their duty of reasonable care. Stopping along a freeway is dangerous and not strapping down a clearly anxious intoxicated person is also dangerous. The danger is most likely also foreseeable.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Lyle B. Masnikoff and Associates
    Lyle B. Masnikoff and Associates | Lyle B. Masnikoff
    Yes. Sounds like they should not have let him out of the ambulance on the freeway. Call a personal injury attorney
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Raheen Law Group, P.C.
    Raheen Law Group, P.C. | Wali Raheen
    Sorry to hear about your loss. You may have a case. I suggest you sit down with an attorney and discuss this in detail. Many attorney, including myself, offer free consultation to evaluate if you have a solid case. So by speaking with an attorney you have nothing to lose. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 8/8/2011
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    Might speak to a PI attorney about a wrongful death case
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/8/2011
    Bulman Law Associates PLLC Injury Law Firm
    Bulman Law Associates PLLC Injury Law Firm | Thomas Bulman
    Generally, juries don't have sympathy for drunks. Next, who would get the money? No matter what the EMT's did or did not do, a jury won't give money to a survivor unless there was a very close emotional or financial relationship of dependence. Were you living with your father? Keeping a conscious drunk upright is safer than lying down, where vomit could be aspirated. Don't see a case here.
    Answer Applies to: Montana
    Replied: 8/8/2011
    Gary Moore, Attorney at Law
    Gary Moore, Attorney at Law | Gary Moore
    You would need the advice of an expert on ambulance negligence.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 8/8/2011
    Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC
    Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC | Lacy Fields
    Possibly. This would be a very fact-specific case. In order to show negligence under these circumstances, we would need to know the minute-by-minute events. However, I am confident that letting a patient get out on a freeway is negligent. Therefore, this would be a wrongful death case, and you must file those cases very, very quickly.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 8/8/2011
    A. Daniel Woska & Associates, P.C.
    A. Daniel Woska & Associates, P.C. | Dan Woska
    First, I am so sorry for your loss. A parent's death is always difficult under normal circumstances. It sounds as if no one has really looked into the fact situation, met with the attendants then examined and detailed what happened on a time line with comparisons of the versions all the witnesses told including drivers on the highway. Further, if he simply got out of the transport and just ran into traffic then negligence certainly sounds applicable. Please hire a lawyer and see what their analysis turns up.
    Answer Applies to: Oklahoma
    Replied: 8/8/2011
    Law Office of Ronald Arthur Lowry
    Law Office of Ronald Arthur Lowry | Ronald Arthur Lowry
    You sure might. This sounds like a violation of protocol by the EMT and driver. The ambulance company would be vicariously liable. Alternatively, if picked up by a governmental emergency vehicle, the claim would be against that governmental entity that employed the EMS and driver. Your father should have been immobilized on the gurney, they should not have pulled over and certainly they should not have pulled over on a freeway. You need a lawyer ASAP. A wrongful death claim under Georgia law is VERY complicated with traps for the unwary so be sure to get a lawyer who is an expert in wrongful death cases.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/8/2011
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC | Timothy J. Klisz
    It certainly sounds like they have culpability here.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/8/2011
    Patrick M Lamar Attorney
    Patrick M Lamar Attorney | Patrick M Lamar
    I believe you do, yes.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 8/8/2011
    The S.E. Farris Law Firm
    The S.E. Farris Law Firm | Spencer E. Farris
    I am sorry for your loss. There is a three year statute of limitations for a death case in Missouri, and I can not tell from your question when your dad died. Likewise, there is a two year statute of limitations for lost chance/medical negligence. It is impossible to know, without reviewing medical records, whether you have a case or not. You are a member of the wrongful death "class" as a child, but others may have acted already on this claim. You should speak to a lawyer immediately.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 8/8/2011
    Langer & Langer
    Langer & Langer | Jon Schmoll
    The EMS personnel were under a duty to provide reasonable care to your father. It is not reasonable to allow someone who is under the influence of alcohol and being transported to a hospital to get out of an ambulance on the side of a busy interstate highway.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 8/8/2011
    Law Offices of Tom Patton
    Law Offices of Tom Patton | Thomas C. Patton
    Yes, you indeed have a case.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 6/26/2013
    Law Office of Russell D. Gray, PC
    Law Office of Russell D. Gray, PC | Russell D. Gray
    From what you have said, it appears unlikely you have a case against the ambulance crew/company. However, you should consult an attorney and give them a complete rendition of all the facts.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 8/8/2011
    David F. Stoddard
    David F. Stoddard | David F. Stoddard
    It is a difficult question. There are various questions that need to be answered, probably by someone who trains EMS personnel. One question is whether EMS has any responsibility to restrain someone who is out of control. Another question is whether there is any protocol for this type of situation. Another question is how he got loose. Did he get out despite their best efforts to restrain him? Did they just let him get out without trying to stop him?
    Answer Applies to: South Carolina
    Replied: 7/8/2013
    Vincent J. Bernabei LLC
    Vincent J. Bernabei LLC | Vincent J. Bernabei
    You may have a claim as a result of your dad's tragic death. You should contact an attorney right away.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 8/8/2011
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A.
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A. | James P Kelaher
    I would seek out the counsel of a personal injury trial lawyer. You may have a case, but the facts are not sufficient to give you an opinion.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/8/2011
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
    If they did not follow their protocols and it is probably not protocol for a stop on a highway under the circumstances.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 8/8/2011
    Berg & McLaughlin, Chtd.
    Berg & McLaughlin, Chtd. | Stephen Snedden
    First, I'm sorry for your loss. The answer to your question is that yes, you do have a case. The case is for negligence by the ambulance company. It's a good case which should be taken seriously.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 8/8/2011
    Link & Smith, P.C.
    Link & Smith, P.C. | Houston Smith
    You may have a case, but it will turn on very specific facts. The EMS transport has a duty to keep the passengers safe. That's a plus for you, and the EMS knew he was drunk and therefore could be erratic. On the other hand, your father voluntarily exited the vehicle and voluntarily ran into traffic.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/8/2011
    Rothstein Law PLLC
    Rothstein Law PLLC | Eric Rothstein
    I am sorry for your loss. There may be a case for failing to properly secure your father. The defense will be that he was drunk and cause his own death but the fact that he was drunk is why he likely needed to be properly restrained. An expert can be retained to give an opinion on the proper care that should have been given. If this was a municipal ambulance, there are pre-suit filing requirements with short time periods (90 days from the date of accident) so contact a lawyer asap.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 8/8/2011
    The Law Office of Stephen R. Chesley, LLC
    The Law Office of Stephen R. Chesley, LLC | Stephen R. Chesley
    You should contact a lawyer to discuss the circumstances of the case. Whether there is a personal injury case can only be determined after a detailed account of the incident is reviewed.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 8/8/2011
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