My husband was seriously injured in a Madison car accident. As he was being transported to the hospital, he went into cardiac arrest. The EMTs tried to administer a shock with an automatic external defibrillator. But the AED was not charged, and my husband died because he was not given the treatment he needed. Can I sue the EMT or ambulance company for his Wisconsin wrongful death?

When you call 911 because of an illness or injury, an EMT or paramedic will come with the ambulance. EMTs and paramedics are first responders who are trained to check for life-threatening conditions and perform certain interventions needed to stabilize the patient during the trip to the hospital. While EMTs and paramedics may only perform interventions within the scope of their training, they are required to use an AED if the patient goes into cardiac arrest.

In Wisconsin, many EMTs and paramedics are volunteers. As long as a volunteer is acting without malicious intent, he is protected by state and federal “Good Samaritan” laws and cannot be sued for wrongful death if a patient dies while in his care.

However, while EMTs cannot be sued individually, ambulance services, fire departments and other rescue organizations be targeted in a Wisconsin wrongful death lawsuit. An ambulance service is responsible for making sure that all volunteers are properly trained and that any trainees are supervised. An ambulance service also has a duty to keep the ambulance ready for an emergency. This means that after returning from an emergency call, supplies should be replenished, oxygen tanks should be refilled, and the AED should be charged. The ambulance should not be sent out until it is ready for new patients.

Families who lose a loved one because of EMT negligence or ambulance malpractice may file a Wisconsin wrongful death claim against the ambulance company. They may seek damages for medical bills, funeral expenses, loss of income, and loss of support and companionship.

For more information about Wisconsin ambulance lawsuits, please contact the Wisconsin personal injury attorneys at Hupy and Abraham at 1-800-800-5678.