Crash Sends Truck Plunging 500 Feet-One Seriously Injured

Two cars collided on the Angeles Crest Highway Monday morning, February 4, 2019, sending one of the vehicles over the side and down at least 500 feet. According to the L.A. Fire Department, a total of six people were injured and at least one was airlifted to a local hospital.

The accident occurred just south of the Charlton Flats Picnic Area, and it’s unclear how the accident happened. Police sat that the accident is still under investigation, but no charges are expected to be filed.

Air Ambulances

In many accidents, the patient is taken to the hospital by way of a helicopter air ambulance. In 2016, there were over 1,000 air ambulance services that transported over 500,000 patients to hospitals around the country. The primary reason to transport by air is that the patient will stand a better chance of surviving or lessening the risk of greater injury, and in some places, there are only a few air ambulance options, so these resources are scarce.

When are Air Ambulances Used?

Many times, the decision to use an air ambulance is a judgment call, and this creates some controversy. The intention is to reserve this option for patients that are in immediate need of treatment. However, many times it ends up that the use of the air ambulance wasn’t necessary. This then ties up the resources so it’s not available for another case where it is needed.

The Decision to Fly

In each jurisdiction, there are designated trained EMS at the scene who will make the decision to use the flight service. However, there is a lack of industry standards for when a flight should be used. Many times, the problem with using the flight when it wasn’t necessary is the cost. The average air ambulance cost around $50,000 in 2016 up from $13,000 in 2007.

This can put a huge burden on the family as most insurance companies will pay only a portion, and Medicare only pays $7,000 a flight leaving those who are already on a fixed income to pay the multi-thousands of the unpaid sum.

So What can be Done?

A firefighter/paramedic with the South Metro Fire Rescue Authority in Colorado suggests the acronym FALTER can help ems personnel make these decisions.

F is for Fear: If there is a genuine fear among medical personnel on the ground that they are unable to handle the situation and the patient might die or suffer greater serious injury, then it should be considered.

A is for Access: Is there proper access to accept the flight near the accident to make it worth it?

L is for Lazy: This is a gut-check for the EMS on the scene. Is the reason because it is just easier?

T is for Time: Does it really save time? Consider the time for the flight to arrive, fly and unload.

E is for Extraction: Is extraction necessary? Is the patient really “sick and stuck” and in need of transport?

R is for Real: One last check is to see if the need is real, and if the air flight would really save time. Account for the flight to the scene, time to get to the chopper, the flight given air traffic and regulations and then is the landing site at the hospital clear.

Do I need an Attorney?

If you’ve been injured in an accident where you were transported by an air ambulance, consider consulting with an attorney who can stand up to the insurance company of the one who caused your injuries. The law requires that a person harmed by another’s negligence pay for all monetary losses sustained by the injured person. This includes an air ambulance bill.

Call the Law Offices of Steers & Associates at 800 824 5416 or click here to contact us online. We have attorneys with years of experience dealing with every type of motor vehicle accident, and we get results against the insurance companies and their highly-paid lawyers. Call us now to even the playing field and get the compensation you deserve.






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