- April 21, 2017
- by Ben Adams
As Santa Rosa CA personal injury attorneys who focus on serious personal injury and wrongful death cases, we have seen cases involving personal air ambulance companies. We applaud when these companies are used to save lives. However, we are aware of the concern that helicopters are sometimes used when a regular ambulance would have worked.
Obviously, if it’s a life-or-death or a serious injury situation, an air ambulance is the best choice. In fact, people who live in rural areas may have no choice if a hospital is far away.
A study by the University of Arizona, found that as many as a third of those transported by helicopter were suffering from minor injuries that could have been safely taken by ground ambulances. Ironically, it may be quicker to take a ground ambulance if the helicopter does not have a safe landing option.
The concern over these services is that, when a person is injured, they usually don’t know if they need an air ambulance. They rely on the judgment of the attending paramedics, police or firefighters to make this emergency decision. The air ambulance companies then pass the cost on to the consumer. In fact, data shows one company’s charge for airlifting the injured rose from about $13,00 in 2007 to over $50,000 in 2016!
Why does this matter? Most medical emergency helicopters are considered “out of network” by insurance companies and will not be covered or only partially covered. Imagine getting a bill for $50,000 and being told it not being covered.
If you find yourself in the unfortunate circumstance of getting one of these bills, we suggest that you ask your insurance company to advocate for you to reduce bill. You should also negotiate with the air ambulance directly.
If you were seriously injured, or a loved one was killed due to another’s negligence, call the Sonoma County personal injury attorneys at Adams Fietz for a free consultation. There are strict time limitations for a personal injury or wrongful death claim. Adams Fietz are an experienced personal injury law firm.