Paramedics provide medical assessments and treatment for people in critical situations, but they are not doctors. As such, when they commit errors that cause people harm, it can be difficult to prove that they should be held accountable, as they are largely insulated from liability. There are instances in which a person harmed by a first responder’s negligence can recover damages, though, and people hurt by paramedic malpractice should speak to an attorney to determine what recourse is available. The assertive Baltimore medical malpractice lawyers of Arfaa Law Group are well-versed in what it takes to recover damages in challenging cases, and if you suffered injuries due to the careless acts of a paramedic, we will work tirelessly to help you pursue the best outcome available.Injuries Caused by Paramedic Malpractice
Paramedics are generally hired to respond to 911 calls regarding emergency medical situations. As part of their job duties, they are asked to assess a patient’s health, provide patients with critical care by administering oxygen, placing IVs, or performing defibrillation. Paramedics are also responsible for securing patients and providing safe transportation to hospitals if necessary. There are numerous ways in which a paramedic can injure a patient, however. For example, if a paramedic neglects to bring the required equipment, he or she may be unable to provide proper care. Similarly, if a paramedic does not perform an essential task like immobilizing a person who suffered neck injuries in a car accident, it can lead to permanent injuries. Paramedics can also cause harm by failing to take prompt action or inaccurately assessing the severity of a patient’s complaints.Elements of a Maryland Paramedic Malpractice Case
Malpractice claims against paramedics differ from claims against other medical providers in many ways. This is mainly because two different laws, the Maryland Good Samaritan Law and the Maryland Fire and Rescue Act, explicitly provide paramedics with broad immunity in many situations. Specifically, the laws state that paramedics cannot be held civilly liable for any harm caused by an omission or act that occurs during the performance of their duties. There are exceptions, however, for behavior that is willful or wanton or constitutes gross negligence.
Under Maryland law, simple negligence is a breach of a duty of care that proximately causes another person to suffer quantifiable harm. Gross negligence differs from ordinary negligence in that it constitutes an intentional failure to perform a known duty, with reckless indifference to the fact that the consequences of the failure might affect the life of another person. In other words, to prove gross negligence, a plaintiff must show that the defendant blatantly disregarded a duty or intentionally harmed the plaintiff.Damages Recoverable for Paramedic Malpractice
A plaintiff that successfully proves a paramedic’s behavior constitutes gross negligence may be awarded damages for the injuries caused by the paramedic’s acts. Damages recoverable include compensation for the cost of medical treatment needed due to the harm suffered or that will be needed in the future, which may include surgery, hospitalization, and physical and occupational therapy. It also includes any out of pocket expenses and lost wages caused if the injured person was unable to work. In addition to economic compensation, injured parties may be granted damages for the suffering, pain, and mental anguish caused by their impairment.Speak to a Skillful Maryland Attorney
While many paramedics provide essential services, that does not mean that they cannot and should not be held responsible when they cause people to suffer grave harm. If you were injured by the wanton acts of a paramedic, you may be owed compensation and should speak to an attorney. At Arfaa Law Group, our skillful Baltimore attorneys can advise you as to whether you may be able to pursue claims for your injuries and assist you in seeking a just outcome. We regularly represent people in medical malpractice cases throughout Baltimore, where we have an office. You can reach us at (410) 889-1850 or via the online form to schedule a conference.