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CalAttorney2
CalAttorney2, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 10244
Experience:  Civil litigation attorney for individuals and businesses.
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My 14 year old son was transferred by ambulance to meet a

Customer Question

My 14 year old son was transferred by ambulance to meet a life flight 5 minutes away. He had a severely torn spleen and in a lot of pain. The ambulance made it to the airport and in the process of getting close backing up she ran into the helicopter and caused major damage. So then they called in a plane and would be another 50 minutes to arrive to make the transfer to the major hospital. My son is strapped into the gurney and in severe pain and we are concerned his spleen may rupture at any time. The plane arrives and we get loaded . Then transfered to the hospital. My son did not end up having to have surgery . He is healing slowly. Very scary. Can we sue for negligence and pain and suffering? Melissa
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 6 months ago.

Hello, My name is ***** ***** I will assist you today. Please give me a few minutes to write a response and identify any additional resources for you.

Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 6 months ago.

Dear Customer,

I am very sorry to learn of this scary (and painful) time for your son.

Regarding a civil suit however, your case is missing a critical "element" of damages (civil causes of action are built on separate elements that must be proven or defenses that can be established).

In your son's case, the delay in transfer did not result in any loss of care for him (which is fortunate - the paradox with personal injury law is that when a person is very badly injured they are more likely to have a case, while a person who is not injured is unlikely to have a claim).

The fact that the ambulance company employee may have been negligent in operating the vehicle is not in and of itself sufficient to create a cause of action.

You can of course speak to a local attorney and discuss your son's case in more detail (personal injury attorneys generally provide free consultations and they may be able to identify some basis for litigation that does not appear in your description of the events here), but based only on what you post and within the "general information" scope of this forum, I do not see a basis to sue the ambulance company.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I feel the ambulance company to be unexceptional with this incident that could have resulted in something much much worse for my son. Yes he was taken care of as much as they can do in that situation. This sort of thing just should not have happened. 50 minutes longer to wait and another 25 minute flight then another 15 minute transfer to er. I feel like there must be something we could do to prevent this from happening to anyone else. Melissa
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 6 months ago.

Dear Customer,

As both an attorney and an EMS professional I see both sides of this "coin" and while patient handling events do occur, and perhaps the significant damage to a very expensive and scarce piece of air medical transport equipment may make this appear to be extraordinary, the industry does work very hard to police itself.

However, like the rest of the medical field, there are issues and if you want to engage in patient advocacy, there are a few that I can identify for you that you may want to reach out to.

NAEMT (National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians) is a trade organization that focuses on improving patient care and delivering higher standards of medical treatment in EMS.

JEMS (Journal of Emergency Medical Services) is probably the most widely read magazine in the industry, you can send a letter to their editorial board.

You can also follow up with the ambulance company's public relations department.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Will do , thanks
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 6 months ago.

You are welcome, and I am very happy to learn that your son was able to avoid surgery.

Hopefully you are able to reach out to some of those organizations to discuss your concerns following this incident.

I do wish you the very best of luck with this matter.

Best regards,

Bill