Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) play a vital role in our healthcare system, responding to 911 calls and transporting patients to the hospital in ambulances. But what happens when an EMT is injured in an ambulance crash? Are they covered by worker’s compensation?
The answer may surprise you. In most cases, EMTs are not considered “employees” under worker’s compensation laws. This means that if they are hurt in an ambulance crash, they may not be eligible for benefits. This can be a real problem for EMTs, who often have high medical bills and long recovery times. If you’re an EMT or emergency responder, it’s important to know your rights and options if you’re injured in an ambulance crash. Read on to learn more about this complex issue.
EMTs Are at High Risk
Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) are tasked with improving the safety and health of their communities, and they place themselves in harm's way daily. EMTs risk exposure to crashes, hazardous materials, infectious disease, falls and impacts, all of which may lead to serious injuries. The typical EMT works long, unpredictable hours while on-call, resulting in fatigue, which can increase exposure to injury.
Even during training and certification courses, EMTs must be able to handle themselves safely during high-stress situations outside a controlled environment. Being prepared for exposure to injury is an essential part of being an effective EMT, but it may not be enough.
EMT Accident Statistics
According to the National Safety Council, 180 people died in accidents with emergency vehicles with passengers and EMTs accounting for at least 5% of all deaths. EMT accidents can be caused by anything from excessive speed to bad weather conditions, highlighting the highly unpredictable nature of their work.
Eligibility for Workers Comp
When an on-duty injury or illness occurs, it is important to understand the requirements for filing workers compensation insurance claims. Deadlines should be strictly adhered to in order to provide the greatest probability of having a successful claim outcome. It is also necessary to have proof that the injury was work-related and not due to any off-duty activities in order for the claim to be approved.
Workers compensation insurance providers base eligibility on a variety of factors and claimants should check with their provider on specific criteria. Ultimately, if all required conditions are met, workers can receive much needed compensation and benefits for years of dedicated on-duty service.
Exceptions To the Rule
When emergency medical technicians (EMTs) sustain an injury while off-duty, they may not be eligible to receive workers' compensation benefits. This is because there are certain circumstances which may disqualify them from receiving such benefits, such as if their injury was caused due to negligence while responding to an emergency call. Additionally, EMTs may not qualify for workers' compensation if they are contractors. It’s crucial that emergency responders research their employment contracts to understand the terms their employer establishes for worker’s compensation.
Qualified Legal Guidance
As an EMT involved in an ambulance crash, you have rights and interests that require protection. To ensure those rights are upheld and your interests are represented, it is important to seek the counsel of a qualified attorney who can accurately assess whether you would be eligible for worker's compensation benefits. With the help of an experienced attorney, you can rest assured knowing that all available options are considered to gain the financial security you deserve.
Contact the Law Offices of Wax & Wax to learn more.