With the many auto accidents that take place in Virginia, an increasing number of incidents include non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) in Richmond.
These transportation vans carry ill, elderly, or injured passengers to appointments.
In one year, Virginia spent nearly $78 million on NEMT for 20,000 Medicaid patients.
Unfortunately, an accident during medical transportation in Richmond leaves these already frail passengers vulnerable to significant injuries.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a non-emergency medical transportation accident, you likely have a right to compensation.
Depending on the type of accident, you may be able to receive compensation through an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit.
To discuss your legal options, contact the experienced attorneys at Lantz and Robins, P.C.
We focus our practice on medical malpractice and nursing home abuse and neglect cases, so we know the harm these accidents can cause.
We have successfully represented accident victims and their families, recovering millions from at-fault nursing homes and companies that provide medical transportation in Virginia.
While we fight for the best possible compensation for families, we do so while treating our clients with respect and compassion.
Here, we highlight important things you should know about NEMT accidents.
Types of NEMT Accidents Causing Injuries
Non-emergency medical transportation in Richmond involves loading, transporting, and unloading a fragile person along Virginia’s busy roadways.
Unfortunately, this transportation can cause serious injuries. Patient injuries usually result from these transportation incidents:
- Recklessly loading or unloading the passenger,
- Failure to secure passengers,
- Improperly using a chairlift,
- Leaving a passenger in an unsafe environment, or
- Crashing into another vehicle.
With careful training and diligent workplace behavior, NEMT companies can avoid causing many non-emergency transportation injuries and accidents.
However, employees may not receive the training they need, or they may act irresponsibly and injure passengers.
In those circumstances, passengers may have a legal claim against the transportation company or nursing home.
Proving Negligence in NEMT Cases
Though patients are sometimes injured intentionally, most injuries from NEMT are due to the company’s negligence.
From the worker who assembled a chairlift to the driver of a NEMT van, various people might act negligently.
To prove that someone’s negligence caused you or your loved one harm requires the following legal elements.
Duty of Care
Non-emergency transportation in Richmond companies owe their passengers a duty of care to transport them in a safe manner.
This duty of care means NEMT companies in Virginia must:
- Follow all traffic laws,
- Train employees on how to drive safely and care for passengers,
- Load and unload patients carefully, and
- Make sure all passengers are secured before driving.
While following traffic laws is essential, a non-emergency medical transportation Virginia worker must also act responsibly when caring for a vulnerable passenger.
Breach of Duty
When the NEMT company fails to act responsibly, they breach their duty of care.
For instance, a driver who broke a traffic law by speeding or texting while driving would breach this duty.
An employee who dropped a passenger or failed to secure a passenger would also be a fault.
If the NEMT driver abandoned a patient in an unsafe area, such as outside a locked building in freezing conditions, this would also breach the duty of care.
Breach Caused Harm
The NEMT company’s action must have caused you or your loved one harm.
For instance, if a passenger broke her leg when a driver dropped her, or an elderly man suffered frostbite when left in the cold, the NEMT driver would likely be at-fault.
Harm Is Worth Damages
The harm must be severe enough to result in damages, or compensation awarded by the court.
If a NEMT driver merely caused a minor bruise or scrape, that injury is likely not worth a lawsuit.
Companies That Offer NEMT
Companies that harm passengers while providing non-emergency transportation in Virginia may be liable for damages.
Here are some of the companies that offer NEMT in Virginia:
- Dependacare Transportation;
- Delta Medical Transport Services;
- Elitrans Medical Transportation;
- Ali Medical Transport;
- VIP Medical Transportation LLC;
- Alexander’s Medical Transportation AMR;
- Tidewater Medical Transport, Inc.;
- LogistiCare; and
- Medexpress Transport LLC.
Virginia contracts with LogistiCare to serve as a transportation broker for Medicaid patients.
LogistiCare maintains a network of transportation providers and manages NEMT services.
Because so many parties are involved in securing transportation for medically fragile patients, you need a skilled attorney to determine which people and companies to hold responsible for your injuries.
Complexity of NEMT Negligence Cases in Richmond
When you or a loved one is injured in a NEMT accident, you don’t need just any lawyer on your case.
While it may seem like an accident lawyer can handle your claim, NEMT cases involve far more than accident laws.
These complex cases require an attorney who understands these Virginia laws:
- Traffic laws,
- Personal injury laws,
- Medical malpractice laws,
- Broker relationships,
- State regulations, and
- Nursing home policies.
Due to the complex assortment of laws that may apply to your NEMT claim, you should hire an attorney with knowledge and experience litigating medical transportation claims.
Your attorney must understand relevant policies and what laws best apply to your claim.
How a NEMT Richmond Attorney Can Help
At Lantz and Robins, P.C., our attorneys have years of experience representing nursing home patients.
With NEMT increasing each year, we talk with many injured passengers.
Our representation of injured nursing home residents gives us the insight to litigate these cases effectively.
Contact us for a free consultation where we can review your claim and answer any questions.
If you decide to hire us, we work on contingency, meaning you owe us nothing until we settle or win your case.
We know you have been through a lot already, so we try to make the lawsuit process as easy as possible for you.
That means our legal team will take on all the work of investigating, negotiating, and holding accountable those who hurt you as we work for the best possible outcome for your case.
You’ll have the final say on any settlement offer, and we can work with you to request terms and conditions that can protect other patients. Contact us to get started on your path toward righting the wrong you have suffered.