MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota. According to USA Today, an ambulance ride can set you back thousands of dollars. While more people these days have medical insurance, many insurance companies require individuals to meet high deductibles before coverage sets in. As a result, some people are thinking twice before they call an ambulance to get them to the hospital. Anyone familiar with ems billing systems will be aware that the process of claiming payment via your insurer can become complicated without the right software. This is why some people are using Uber or Lyft or other ridesharing options to get them to the hospital. When you’re talking about a difference of about $50 dollars versus something that can exceed $2000 it becomes clear why some people would opt to take the ride share option.
Yet, choosing a ride share over an ambulance can come with its own risks. Ambulance drivers can run stop signs and red lights and have the sirens to help them do so relatively safely in the event of an emergency, while ride sharing cars don’t have this ability. If a driver tries to speed you to the hospital, you run the risk of getting into a car accident and other drivers on the road might be put in danger if your driver breaks the law.
While these risks exist, the New York Times reports that in some cases it might be a better option to take an Uber to the hospital. Ambulance rides should only be used in the event of an emergency. If you are not having an emergency and can make it to the hospital another way, consider it. Not only will you save yourself and your insurance company money, but you’ll leave emergency services free to help people who really need it the most. So, if you are having a real emergency, by all means call in an ambulance. But, if you don’t need immediate medical attention and if you can make it to the hospital without the need to rush, consider finding alternative transportation.
Yet, how can you know which way is best in an emergency? According to Slate, experts say that if you think 10 to 15 minutes won’t make a difference in the outcome of your care, you might be better going in an Uber. When Slate’s reporter spoke to Uber and Lyft, however, the company had a different response. Ride shares, they explained, were not meant to serve customers in emergency situations. Really, though, it comes down to what we define as an emergency. If you know you need stitches after a kitchen mishap but can stop the bleeding with pressure, do you really need an ambulance? However, it is understandable why an Uber driver would want to call an ambulance instead of allowing someone who has been bleeding to ride in his or her car. Ride share companies will clearly want to avoid the legal liability of transporting someone to the hospital when they can.
What are some conditions where you should call an ambulance? If you’re having trouble breathing, if you’re in serious pain, if you think you might be bleeding internally, if you’re pregnant, or if you think you might be having a heart attack or stroke (chest pain, numbness, problems speaking), it might be best to call an ambulance.
Emergency transportation is an issue that is gaining more attention as we see firsthand the high costs of this kind of care and the dangers people can face when they don’t get the care they need. If you or a loved one was hurt in a car accident or due to the negligence of another person or party, reach out to the personal injury lawyers at the Law Office of Martin T. Montilino in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Our firm can review the details of your case, chart a roadmap forward, and help you seek the justice you may deserve under the law. Visit us at https://www.martinmontilino.com/ to learn more.
THE LAW OFFICE OF MARTIN T. MONTILINO, LLC
3109 Hennepin Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55408
Phone: (612) 236-1320