Des Moines Emergency Call Negligence Lawyer
Emergency & 9-1-1 Call Negligence in Iowa
When one encounters an emergency, it’s comforting to know that help is just on the other side of a 9-1-1 phone call. In many cases, the dispatch center is successful in sending assistance promptly. Unfortunately, however, there are also cases in which the emergency call is not handled properly. This negligence may result in a severe delay in medical attention, which can cause complications in certain conditions or, in some cases, even lead to death.
If you have experienced serious injuries or the loss of a loved one due to another party’s negligent behavior in handling an emergency call, the lawyers of LaMarca Law Group, P.C. in Des Moines can help. Depending on the specifics of your case, we can help you file a personal injury claim or wrongful death lawsuit and fight to receive compensation for your losses, as well as justice for yourself and your family.
The Dangers of Emergency Call Negligence
The persons charged with answering and screening emergency calls have a tremendous responsibility. If they do not handle the call properly, their negligence could result in devastating consequences.
Although this negligence does not always result in undue injury or loss of life, there are certain situations in which delay of medical attention can result in wrongful death, including, but not limited to, cases involving:
- Heart attack
- Head/brain injuries
- Severe lacerations or bleeding wounds
- Carbon monoxide poisoning
- Severe allergic reactions
If you have experienced a death in the family due to the negligence of a dispatch center, you should not hesitate to take action. The Des Moines lawyers of LaMarca Law Group, P.C. are here to help you pursue justice and compensation for your losses.
Can You Sue a Negligent 9-1-1 Operator?
Although we often don’t think of them as such, 9-1-1 operators are first responders, just like police officers, paramedics, EMTs, and firefighters. And, like other first responders, 9-1-1 operators function in a high-pressure environment. Because of this, they are held to a different standard of care than other professionals.
The important thing to note, however, is that 9-1-1 operators are held to a standard of care. This means that they must provide a certain level of care and service to callers according to their training and expertise. While most 9-1-1 operators do an outstanding job of helping people get the emergency attention they need, what happens when they fail to provide a proper level of assistance? Can you sue a negligent 9-1-1 operator?
While these cases are relatively rare, there has been some precedent for suing 9-1-1 operators who fail to uphold the standard duty of care. If you believe a 9-1-1 operator was negligent, leading to serious injury or the wrongful death of a loved one, you should be prepared to prove that the operator failed to provide an acceptable level of care you could reasonably have expected another qualified operator to have provided and that this led to the injury or death and resulting damages.
What Constitutes Emergency/9-1-1 Call Negligence?
The question of what constitutes emergency call or 9-1-1 operator negligence is a difficult one to answer, as the issue is rarely black and white. In some circumstances, a 9-1-1 operator may give advice that he or she believes to be the best for the situation—but the outcome may still be poor. In other instances, an emergency call operator may make a simply unreasonable mistake. The circumstances surrounding the event play a large role in whether or not an operator’s actions or inactions are deemed negligent.
That being said, some examples of 9-1-1 operator negligence include:
- Failure to properly assess symptoms
- Failure to recommend further actions
- Failure to dispatch emergency personnel
- Failure to follow local or state laws
Often (though not always), emergency call operators are immune from cases involving general negligence; typically, one must prove gross negligence to have grounds for an emergency call negligence case.
Contact a Des Moines Emergency Call Negligence Lawyer for Help
At LaMarca Law Group, P.C., our lawyers understand the devastating emotional and financial damages you may be facing after a wrongful death in the family. We can help you fight to hold the responsible parties accountable.
Our team is available 24/7 to take your call and provide you with the information you need. We do not charge any upfront or out-of-pocket expenses and only recover attorneys’ fees if and when we win your case.