Should I Take an Ambulance After an Accident?


Whether you were injured at work, were involved in a car accident, or sustained any type of serious injury, you may be wondering whether you should ride in an ambulance to the hospital, drive yourself, or have a loved one take you to the emergency room. If your injuries are severe, you may not have a say in the matter. If you are conscious and can make a choice, however, there are a few things to consider.

Ambulance rides are expensive, but they may be the best option to get a person the treatment they need. A matter of minutes and even seconds can mean the difference between life and death for someone who has been catastrophically injured. You should only decide to forgo an ambulance ride if you’re certain it is unnecessary.

When You Should Take an Ambulance

In an emergency, an ambulance provides a means of getting to the hospital as quickly as possible. Plus, emergency medical technicians (EMTs) can render aid during transport, giving the patient the best possible chance of survival.

The American College of Emergency Physicians has some helpful tips on when to call an ambulance:

  • When the situation is potentially life-threatening. You should always call 911 and take an ambulance if the patient is in danger of losing their life. This may be true in cases where they’re displaying signs of a heart attack or stroke, serious physical trauma, and if they have stopped breathing or their heart has stopped beating. Call 911 and perform CPR or other life-saving procedures as directed by the dispatcher while you wait for the ambulance to arrive.
  • When moving the patient could cause further harm. Spinal cord injuries, broken bones, internal organ damage, and other traumatic injuries can be worsened if a person is moved by untrained individuals. Calling for an ambulance is the safest bet after car accidents, falls, and other serious incidents involving these types of trauma. The same applies to motor vehicle accidents or work injuries where a person is stuck or caught in something. Emergency personnel have the right tools and training to extract them safely.
  • When you cannot get to the ER yourself because of your injuries. You should not try to drive yourself to urgent care or the ER if your ability to drive is impaired. If you are dizzy, disoriented, weak, or have any injury that would prevent you from driving safely, do not get behind the wheel. If your injuries are not life-threatening, you can ask a friend or family member to drive you. If your injuries are severe, however, an ambulance may be your safest bet.

Why Some People Don’t Want to Take an Ambulance

It sometimes happens that people don’t want to take an ambulance after an accident. This is understandable, as long as you take the above three points into account before making a decision.

The two primary reasons for not taking an ambulance are:

  • It would take longer to wait for an ambulance. In some areas, it may take longer to wait for emergency personnel to arrive than it would to drive to the hospital yourself. This is sometimes true in rural areas that are far from emergency services and in some cities where traffic is particularly bad.
  • The situation is not life-threatening. When injuries are not particularly severe or potentially fatal, an ambulance may not be needed. Using a car service or having a loved one drive you can save you a good deal of money. Ambulances can be expensive, but if someone’s life is on the line, money should never be a reason to avoid a ride in one.

When in Doubt, Call 911

A good rule of thumb when it comes to any accident or injury is: when in doubt, call 911. At the very least, the dispatcher can help you determine whether an ambulance is needed. At most, you’ll save a life by getting emergency personnel to the scene.

Ask a Pennsylvania Personal Injury Attorney

Money is the last thing you should have to worry about if you or someone you love has been seriously injured. Unfortunately, it’s a part of the process. The cost of medical treatment, including an ambulance ride, can be astronomical. This is one of many reasons it is important to talk to an attorney about your rights and options. You may be entitled to financial compensation to cover all of your medical expenses, ongoing treatment, therapy, lost earnings, and emotional trauma.

Our Pennsylvania personal injury lawyers at Handler, Henning & Rosenberg LLC have been fighting for clients’ rights for nearly a century. We know how difficult it is to rebuild after an accident, and we also know how negligent corporations and careless individuals often try to avoid responsibility when they’ve caused harm. We believe they should be held accountable. To find out how we can fight for the support you need, call (888) 498-3023. We are standing by to help.

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