Iwas in a car accident and was forced into an ambulance. Now i have a bill I can’t pay!

UPDATED: Jun 7, 2009

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Iwas in a car accident and was forced into an ambulance. Now i have a bill I can’t pay!

A friend and I got in a car accident when I was driving her car. Lost control of the car and crashed. People stopped and called for help and when the ambulance came i didn’t see the need for me to go with them. I was hurt but wanted to stay until my parents came. I knew that I fractured my collar bone and that they couldn’t help me but my friend was hurt. When I told the paramedics I didn’t want to go with them they told me I didn’t have a choice because she needed to go to the hospital now and I might have internal bleeding. They tied me up and put me in the car even though I repeatedly told them no.

Asked on June 7, 2009 under Accident Law, Florida


L.M., Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

I understand that you didn't want to go to the hospital, but the EMT's were doing their job.  If you had been able to get up and walk around pain free and had no evidence of injury, I'm sure they would not have been so insistent.  But you indicated here that you had a broken collar bone, so they made the right call.  Regarding the bill, I hope that you or your friend have auto insurance.  The Medical Payments coverage on your policy or hers should cover your medical treatment up to the policy limits.

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 13 years ago | Contributor

This charge comes under the heading of "accident response fee".  There is pending legislation in Florida (or perhaps just passed legislation) outlawing these fees - with the exception of ambulance services.  Absent insurance coverage, I think that you are going to have to pay this bill.  However I'm not licensed in Florida and perhaps there is something in the proposed (new) law on this issue of which I am unaware.

Bottom line, you could have had internal bleeding; yours was not an insignificant injury.  If you did have internal bleeding, and they let you wait for your parents and something happened, my guess is you or your family would suing them now.  

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