Approximately 2 million Americans use wheelchairs for mobility assistance. Some use a wheelchair every day, some use a wheelchair when they have to walk long distances (such as at the airport), while others rely on a wheelchair in a healthcare setting, such as at the hospital, in an assisted living facility, or at a nursing home. Tipping is the most common cause of wheelchair-related accidents and accounts for 80% of wheelchair-related injuries. Wheelchair related injuries can range in severity from minor cuts and bruises to broken bones, head trauma, and brain injuries.
Wheelchair injuries can occur in at the airport, when loading and unloading from paratransit vans (metrolift), and even in medical facilities. Most often, these injuries occur when persons providing assistance fail to observe proper wheelchair safety protocols. Many times, people who are supposed to provide assistance cause an injury when they fail to safely navigate stairs, ramps, and curbs.
Airport service providers, medical facilities and paratransit service drivers must be trained in the proper use of a wheelchair. They must know how to properly use foot pedals, how to fold and transport the chair, and how to transfer the patient to and from the aircraft seat, into and out of a paratransit van, and into and out of a medical facility. Failure to follow appropriate wheelchair safety protocols can result in serious injuries.
When people in a wheelchair are unsupervised, they may fall out of the chair and find themselves unable to summon the assistance they need.
If you were injured in an accident involving a wheelchair, you may be entitled to compensation. Because there are so many different causes of wheelchair injuries and so many different parties who could be liable, it is critical that you speak with an experienced wheelchair lawyer like the Stilwell Law Firm.
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