CBS Miami first reported on the growing trend of people to call an uber to get themselves to an emergency room, rather than dial 911. A primary motivator seems to be the cost. An ambulance ride in South Florida can average between $500 and $1,000. For those without health insurance, or if the injured person is not in an auto accident, or does not have PIP insurance, that ambulance ride will have to be paid in cash. But experts warn that often this can be miscalculation. If the ER doesn’t specialize in the patient’s medical need, they will often call an ambulance to have the patient transferred to a hospital that does. Paramedics, on the other hand, know which hospital to take the patient to.
In addition, while in the ambulance, paramedics are able to provide stabilization and some degree of emergency care that certainly a Lyft or Uber driver would not.
However, some patients have shot back claiming that of course after a serious car accident involving serious injuries, they would only rely on EMS services. But for a minor car accident involving sprains and strains and other minor pains, they question the wisdom on dialing 911, waiting for an ambulance, and then incurring what is probably an unnecessary expense.
Uber, of course, has issued a statement clarifying that they do not intend for the Uber ridesharing service to become a substitute for medical emergency care.
But, lets think about this for a second. Regardless of what experts say and statements Lyft or Uber make, we have to consider the consequences of people’s rational behavior. A lyft or uber driver doesn’t know why they are being summoned to any particular location. If someone gets in, only later to reveal that they are bleeding and need to be rushed to the hospital – that passenger will be putting pressure on their Lyft or Uber driver to drive faster, run through that yellow light, so they can obtain the medical care that they need. Whether it was a good idea for them to call an Uber over an ambulance is open for debate (in limited circumstances). But I think we can all agree that a Lyft or Uber driver in a rush makes that Uber driver at an increased risk for causing an accident.
If you, or anyone you know, was injured while in an Uber, by an Uber, or an Uber driver injured due to the negligence of another, please call the ridesharing accident law firm today at 786-220-5588.