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Can I Refuse an Ambulance After a Car Accident?

an ambulance

The severity of injuries following a car accident can vary greatly. People may suffer only minor cuts and bruises in some cases, while others can sustain more serious injuries, such as broken bones or whiplash. In worst-case scenarios, people may even suffer from permanent disability or death. In the event emergency medical services (EMS) is called, many with lesser injuries find themselves wondering if they can turn down ambulatory services.

It is Your Right

After a car accident, an ambulance may be called to the scene to transport any injured parties to the hospital. However, an individual may refuse medical treatment and transportation in some cases. While this decision may seem ill-advised, the reality is that each person has the right to make their own medical decisions.

Informed consent is a legal concept that requires patients to be fully informed of the risks and benefits of any proposed treatment before they can give their consent. This includes the right to refuse treatment, even if that decision goes against the advice of medical professionals. As long as an individual is of sound mind and is able to understand the consequences of their decision, they have the right to refuse ambulatory services.

Reasonable Understanding

In order to refuse medical treatment, an individual must have mental capacity and a reasonable understanding of what they are refusing. Individuals who cannot make such judgments include the intellectually disabled, mentally ill, and those with mental impairments due to alcohol intoxication, drug use, or certain health problems.

Costs of an Ambulance

The cost of an ambulance ride can be very high, sometimes costing hundreds or even thousands of dollars. A study found that nearly 71 percent of ambulatory services do not accept their patient’s insurance, with 79 percent of patients often being left with bills averaging $450. As a result, it may make more financial sense for the victim to decline ambulance services and instead drive themselves or take a taxi to the hospital.

Of course, this decision should only be made if the victim is reasonably certain that their injuries are not life-threatening. Otherwise, the cost of declining an ambulance could be much higher than the fee itself.

North Carolina Car Accident Attorneys

At Wallace Pierce Law, our car accident attorneys understand the physical, emotional, and financial toll that car accidents can take on victims and their families. We help our clients recover the damages they are entitled to under the law. We will aggressively pursue your claim and work to get you the maximum compensation possible.

Call us today at (919) 887-7892 or fill out our form online to schedule a free initial consultation.

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