911 and EMS Cases:No time to waste!

When we call “911” we count on a trained operator efficiently taking our information, and dispatching the right response (fire, police, or ambulance) as appropriate.

Most trained emergency personnel do a difficult job well — but not always. We have seen cases where 911 response was grossly delayed, or the wrong units sent. We have also seen improper delay in transport by EMS crews after arrival on the scene.

A case involving 911 or EMS response has special legal challenges. There are rules written into the law for government agencies (“immunity”) that make it more difficult to bring a case against the government for the same conduct that would be considered “negligence” by a private person.

These “immunity” rules have exceptions. Therefore, it is still possible to bring cases for improper 911 or EMS response in the right circumstance. [1] But litigating these cases successfully requires special experience: to navigate potential pitfalls that can make the difference between a successful case, or dismissal of the case.

Short deadlines also apply to emergency response cases –with formal legal notice sometimes required within 90 days from the date of the accident. [2] Therefore, a person with serious questions about Emergency response needs to contact the right attorney and do so without delay.

If you have a serious question about 911 or EMS response, you can contact us for a free, knowledgeable, and timely evaluation to preserve your legal rights.

[1] See, e.g. Applewhite v Accuhealth, Inc., 21 NY3d 420 (2013) (Ambulance delay not protected by legal “immunity” against suit).
[2] New York General Municipal Law, sec. 50-e.