Non-emergency medical transportation companies provide a much-needed service to people who are sick, elderly, disabled or otherwise unable to drive themselves to and from doctors’ appointments, dialysis treatment, x-rays, therapy, or other medical treatment; however, companies providing such services often employ inexperienced or untrained drivers and staff, and sadly, even use vehicles which are not equipped with necessary safety features. As a result, many people who have no choice but to utilize the services of non-emergency transport companies – people who need specialized transportation and deserve extra care and attention – suffer catastrophic injuries while in the custody and control of non-emergency transport companies.
Although NEMT companies are loosely regulated in Georgia, such companies are “common carriers” and are, therefore, held to a higher standard of care than those who operate private passenger vehicles for their own use. Georgia Code Section O.C.G.A. 46-1-1(1) requires NEMT companies to exercise “extraordinary care” in transporting patients. And that duty is not discharged until the patient/passenger has been safely delivered to a place where he or she has freedom of movement and can look out for his or her own safety.
By hiring unqualified employees and then failing to properly train them, non-emergency medical transportation companies subject patients/passengers to unreasonable risks of serious personal injuries and death. Such injuries are caused by, but not limited to, the following:
– Collisions with other vehicles or objects
– Dropping patients while loading or unloading them
– Failing to secure, or improperly securing, a patient to his or her seat
– Failing to secure, or improperly securing, wheelchair bound patients
– Failing to safely transfer patients to or from a wheelchair or stretcher
– Improperly using chair lifts
– Leaving patients in extreme or unsafe conditions
If you or a loved one has been injured while being transported by a NEMT company, you can count on Kopelman Sitton Law Group to protect your rights and recover for you all the damages allowed by law. Please don’t hesitate to call us to learn more.