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by Staff - December 17, 2013


When a loved one dies at an accident scene, family members may wonder whether there was anything that the emergency medical technicians and paramedics could have done to prevent the death.  Paramedic and emergency medical technician (EMT) negligence is rare in Texas, but it does happen.

EMTs and paramedics are first responders whose jobs are to provide emergency treatment at accident scenes. EMTs are trained to check for life threatening conditions and perform lifesaving interventions until the patient can be brought to the hospital. In most cases, EMTs cannot administer medications.

A paramedic is an EMT with advanced life support training. Unlike an EMT, a paramedic can give shots and start intravenous lifelines. They are trained to use about 30 different medications.

An EMT/paramedic’s duty is to:

  1. Check for life-threatening conditions and treat symptoms in accordance with their training
  2. Prepare the patient for transport
  3. Provide safe and immediate transportation to the nearest a hospital or medical facility
  4. Take charge of the patient’s care until the ambulance arrives at the hospital

Examples of paramedic and EMT Negligence:

  • Lack of proper EMT/paramedic certification
  • Lack of proper training
  • Failure to arrive at the scene in a timely manner
  • Failure to adequately staff ambulances
  • Failure to bring necessary life-saving equipment to the scene
  • Failure to maintain ambulance equipment
  • Misuse or improper use of medical devices
  • Administering the wrong or inappropriate medicine or incorrect dosage
  • Neglecting to take a patient history
  • Failure to check airway, breathing, and circulation
  • Acting beyond the scope of an EMT/paramedic
  • Failure to create and preserve records of the incident
  • Reckless or negligent driving
  • Leaving the patient at the accident scene
  • Physical or sexual assault

In Texas, EMTs and paramedics cannot be sued individually, but the ambulance companies or fire departments that they work for can be sued and held liable for ambulance malpractice. Families who lose a loved one because of ambulance malpractice may file a Texas wrongful death claim for medical bills, funeral expenses, loss of support and companionship, and loss of future income.

For more information about medical malpractice lawsuits in Texas, request a free copy of Dallas wrongful death attorney Jeff Rasansky’s book, The Epidemic of Medical Mistakes & Understanding Your Rights.

If you believe that your loved one died because of the negligence of a Dallas EMT or paramedic, please contact the Dallas wrongful death attorneys at the Rasansky Law Firm at 1-877-405-4313.

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