Can I sue an ambulance transport company for negligence?
Yes. Ambulance transport companies are private companies, and in the state of California, they can be sued like any other company. However, there are different types of claims that can be brought against these companies and the standards of proof differ based upon the type of claim that is filed.
For example, emergency first responders such as emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and the emergency transport companies can be sued for general negligence when they are involved in a motor vehicle accident. The standard of proof for these types of claims is ordinary negligence, which is the same standard applied to any motorist involved in a motor vehicle accident.
Emergency first responders such as EMTs and the emergency transport companies can also be sued for their failures to act, and for their failures to act in good faith when responding to emergency calls. In these types of claims, the standard of proof for recovering damages is different. In order to win your case, you must prove “gross negligence” rather than ordinary negligence.
Gross negligence is either the lack of any care, or an extreme departure from what a reasonably careful person would do in the same situation to prevent harm to oneself or to others. In order to prevail in a lawsuit against the EMT and the emergency transport company, you need to prove that the acts or omissions performed by the EMT and transport company were carried out in a grossly negligent manner, or that the acts or omissions performed by them were not performed in good faith.
These types of claims are more difficult to establish because the California Legislature wants to encourage EMTs, registered nurses, firefighters, police officers and other emergency first responders to render medical services during emergencies without fear of being sued. This makes these cases more challenging. However, with the assistance of an experienced and highly skilled personal injury attorney, it is possible to recover damages in a lawsuit involving emergency first responders such as EMTs and emergency transport companies