My wife is an EMT in Fairfax—can she be sued for Virginia medical malpractice if she inadvertently injures a victim while she is responding to an accident?

Your wife has a very important job that involves a high level of risk and reward, as well as an incredible amount of skill under intense pressure. Recent news of the young girl who was killed by a fire truck responding to the Asiana Airlines crash in San Francisco has a lot of people wondering—can first responders be sued for medical malpractice?

The good news is that the law is designed to protect people like your wife and that SFO firefighter, who rush toward accidents to help when others are fleeing. If first responders were as vulnerable to medical malpractice as general practice doctors or hospital employees, no one would do the job. The risk of making a mistake while treating an unknown patient in order to stabilize the person as quickly as possible is high, and quick decisions must often be made to preserve a life that may have played out differently if different resources were available.

That is not to say that if your wife or the firefighter negligently or intentionally injured someone that they would be off the hook for medical malpractice. The same goes for people covered by the Good Samaritan rule—essentially, if a person causes needless harm or danger, he or she could be held liable for the unnecessary damage that they caused.

If you or someone you love was injured by an emergency medical technician or first responder that acted in a negligent manner, you may have grounds to file a Virginia or Washington, D.C. medical malpractice claim. Call the Washington, D.C. medical malpractice lawyers at Lewis & Tompkins today at 202.296.0666 for a free consultation to discuss your case.

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