It’s a sure bet that a patient being transported to a hospital in an ambulance has no expectations of being ejected violently from the vehicle before getting to the destination, nor that the driver could be charged with driving too fast for conditions. That did happen in Georgia, however, when a privately-owned ambulance was traveling on I-575 near Ga.140, with a patient and two medics aboard. The ambulance driver was apparently guilty of aggressive driving, and after failing to negotiate a curve, went off the road and hit several trees, ejecting the patient in the process.
The patient is now in the hospital recovering from the injuries suffered in the accident as well as the original illness. The two female medics were also injured and taken to a hospital along with the patient. The ambulance itself was most likely totaled due to driver negligence.
The accident occurred about 2 a.m. Cherokee County Fire and Emergency Services responded after the driver called 911 to inform that there was an accident and the patient had been ejected. The Georgia State Patrol charged the driver, a 32-year-old female of Rome, with driving too fast for conditions.
The patient probably has a personal injury action against the ambulance company and its driver. She was likely guilty of driver negligence in not having the vehicle under proper enough control. Her driver negligence is imputed by law to her employer, making the employer liable for personal injury caused by the employee’s negligence.
The road was reportedly wet at the time and that would necessitate a slower pace of operation and a closer focus for curves that might have become slippery. Georgia prohibits such aggressive driving, even with respect to emergency vehicles, if it creates an unreasonable risk of injury or death to others. The medics will be able to bring worker’s compensation claims for their injuries, which occurred at work.
Source: The Cherokee Ledger-News, “Three injuries in ambulance crash,” Jessica Wagner, April 3, 2013