For millions of Medicaid patients in need of ongoing medical care across the state, Georgia’s Department of Community Health oversees a system of non-emergency transportation services designed to safely transport patients to their doctor’s appointments. Yet, it appears that some of these patients are at risk for serious injuries and even death due to alleged oversights made by the department, as well as these taxpayer-funded systems.
In one instance, a van driver failed to strap a disabled patient’s wheelchair down. After taking a shortcut through a grassy area, the van hit a hole, and the patient was thrown to the floor. In another case, a patient was dropped from a stretcher onto hard concrete. For elderly patients, many of which are too weak to stand on their own, being dropped or propelled from a wheelchair can result in serious head injuries, lacerations, broken or dislocated bones, amputation or death. While the state requires that transportation providers and drivers receive adequate training related to wheelchair safety, first aid, defensive driving and sensitivity training for Medicaid rides, some providers leave it up to the drivers themselves to stay up to date on training. What’s more is that mechanical problems with older model transportation vehicles are believed to put patients at risk. Such is the case with the Georgia transportation system, LogistiCare, which arranges for nearly three million trips across the state every year.
Even so, for families with loved ones that have been injured or have died in an incident involving a transportation service, and negligence is to blame, they deserve to have an experienced non-emergency transport injury lawyer on their side.
Injuries And Accidents During Non-Emergency Medical Transport (NEMT)
Perhaps your loved one depends on regular transportation services to attend his or her dialysis appointments. Imagine that their transportation arrives late, causing them to miss part of their appointment. On the other hand, suppose a loved one becomes injured when a transportation driver violates traffic laws or drives recklessly, or when a driver fails to help them exit the vehicle safely.
While transportation services are designed to serve patients, a number of pressures are believed to contribute to a growing pattern of endangerment when it comes to transporting elderly and vulnerable patients. One of these pressures stems from the number of rides needed. Thus, in an effort to meet the demand, transportation companies are acquiring more drivers, many barely earning above minimum wage. Yet, despite LogistiCare’s claim that the company communicates strong expectations and accountability for its drivers, a lot can go wrong, and it does. Along with Southeastrans, which is the primary transportation provider for north Georgia and Atlanta, many have raised questions about the Georgia Department of Community Health’s oversight of these companies, as well as the negligent hiring, retention and training of non-emergency medical transport employees.
When it comes to injuries sustained during a non-emergency transport, our attorneys are the experienced attorneys that families trust. With over 30 years of collective experience in personal injury cases, their goal remains simple—to identify the at-fault party and force them to compensate victims and families for their injuries.
For a free initial consultation to discuss the details of your personal injury issue, contact the Burnside Law Firm in Augusta today.