Nursing Home Patients Injured After Driver Of Van Fails To Secure Their Wheelchairs

wheelchairvanA recent auto accident involving a nursing home van– full of elderly patients– is under investigation by authorities in Iowa after two of the female passengers sustained injuries when the van rear-ended a car stopped at a light.

Apparently the women– who were both in wheelchairs– only had their wheelchairs attached to the floor of the van. The driver never used a seat belt to secure them within the wheelchair.

As the driver of the van applied the brakes the force of the stopping caused the women to be thrown from their wheelchairs causing them to sustain injuries.

In Iowa, as in some other states, there is no requirement that passengers in wheelchair be secured via seat-belt.  However, many handicapped drivers feel that common sense would dictate the use of some type of restraining device for the person in the wheelchair– as do I!

I think the key to safely transporting the physically disabled patient is to use any type of securing method available to make sure they are snug.  Too often I have worked on injury and death cases where the patient was secured to the vehicle only by the wheels of the chair– thereby allowing the straps to move though the spokes at the van moved.

Certainly, physically disabled passengers should be able to expect that the driver of the vehicle is experienced enough to properly secure them and assure them they they get to and from their destination safely.

In situations where a person does sustain an injury during transport on a van operated by a nursing home or other medical transport company, most situations are covered under the automobile insurance policy for the vehicle owner.  Generally, the injured person can recover for:

  • Medical expenses
  • Pain and suffering
  • Disability
  • Death


Inadequate Training Of Medi-Car Staff Exposes Seniors To Unnecessary Risk During Non-Emergency Transportation

Dropping Patients, Failing To Secure Wheelchairs & Dangerous Driving Put Elderly Patients At Risk Of Further Harm During Ambulance Transport

Transportation In & Out Of Nursing Homes: Ambulance Responsibility.

Nursing home resident’s death raises questions, Quad-City Times by Tory Brecht and Brian Wellner, December 2, 2010

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Jonathan did a great job helping my family navigate through a lengthy lawsuit involving my grandmother's death in a nursing home. Through every step of the case, Jonathan kept my family informed of the progression of the case. Although our case eventually settled at a mediation, I really was impressed at how well prepared Jonathan was to take the case to trial. Lisa
After I read Jonathan’s Nursing Home Blog, I decided to hire him to look into my wife’s treatment at a local nursing home. Jonathan did a great job explaining the process and the laws that apply to nursing homes. I immediately felt at ease and was glad to have him on my side. Though the lawsuit process was at times frustrating, Jonathan reassured me, particularly at my deposition. I really felt like Jonathan cared about my wife’s best interests, and I think that came across to the lawyers for the nursing home. Eric