2019 poses some interesting questions for us when it comes to what to do after a car accident. We no longer need to carry disposable cameras in our glovebox as everyone has a phone with a camera built in. We are also able to record voice memos of discussions with parties involved in a car accident for evidence if necessary. The conundrum we want to dive into is: Should you take an ambulance or call an Uber to take you to the hospital after a car accident?
Why People Prefer to Take an Uber Instead
Let’s face it —- our healthcare system needs a lot of work. The average cost of taking an ambulance to the nearest hospital ranges anywhere from $850 to $1500 — sometimes much higher based on the care you require in the ambulance. When you compare that to an Uber, which might cost you $15 to $30, you’re looking at hundreds of dollars in savings. Another point is that chances are an Uber is closer to you than an ambulance is; however, EMTs can prolong or save your life until you get to the hospital, whereas an Uber driver cannot.
Typically people ask friends or family to give them a ride to the ER unless the health concern is urgent. In those instances, it’s not so different to hail a cab or call an Uber to fulfill that same transportation need. What it really comes down to is how life threatening are your injuries? There are people out there that will take an Uber to save a few bucks after they’re suffered a traumatic brain injury, broken a bone or worse. Don’t be that person. Your Uber driver will likely feel very uncomfortable and you’re putting them in a terrible position in the event that you lose consciousness or worse, die in their vehicle.
Why You Should Take an Ambulance
For starters and as mentioned above, calling an Uber when you’re dealing with a medical crisis or emergency puts stress on the driver. Imagine if you were an Uber driver and someone in dire need of medical attention entered your vehicle requesting a trip to the ER — it’s a frightening thought. If you’re thinking to yourself, “There’s no way people actually call an Uber instead of an ambulance”, you’re wrong. A study from 2017 compiled data that showed a direct link of ambulances being used less as Uber entered new markets. At the end of the day, putting an Uber driver through immense stress and concern regarding the liability of something going wrong in their vehicle is inconsiderate and puts you in a risky situation as well.
From a liability standpoint, here’s what Uber drivers have to consider (taken from BuzzFeed News):
“[An Uber driver is] not liable if you refuse to take [passengers to the hospital or urgent care],” Dubal said. “You’re under no legal obligation to care for them until they get in your car, and then you’re a proprietor conducting business.”
Another consideration is that ambulances have emergency lights and sirens that can come in handy in especially traffic-heavy regions. If you take an Uber and it gets stuck in traffic, your luck could run out quickly.
Finally, a majority of Uber drivers use their personal vehicles to ride share. If you are extremely ill and contagious, you’re putting your Uber driver and his or her family at risk as well. Be considerate to the fact that you may make an Uber driver miss several days of work if they catch your contagious illness and instead take an ambulance with professionals trained to handle health crises.
A few hundred dollars is not worth taking a risk with your life. If you are in a situation where you’re in critical or severe condition, don’t think twice about calling an ambulance. If your injury or health concern is minimal and has been something you may not require urgent attention for, go ahead and call an Uber.
If you got injured or a close relative died in a car accident, the Parrish Law Firm, PLLC can help. Call us at (571) 364-6307 for a free consultation.