If you find yourself in a situation where you need to get to the hospital as quickly as possible and the only option is to drive, then ask for forgiveness instead of permission.
There is no question that finding yourself in an emergency situation, particularly one involving a family member or loved one, can be one of the most stressful scenarios you can face.
If emergency medical help is not available and the best option is to take the patient to the hospital yourself, is it okay to break the law by doing so?
No matter what state you live in, the answer is no. You are expected to call an ambulance.
However, this is not always practical, and given the increased stress of an emergency, it may not seem like a reasonable option at the time. Most of us would agree that getting a ticket or even losing your license pales in comparison to the well-being of a loved one.
If you take it upon yourself to get someone to medical help as quickly as possible, try to be as sensible as possible. You don’t want to put them, yourself, or other road users at risk in the process.
Before doing anything, consider the weather, time of day, and traffic conditions before doing anything. Should I move the patient at all?
Although the medical advice and traffic regulations in this scenario are clear, Drive he spoke to a lawyer to understand what would be the outcome of his decision to take someone to the hospital and be pulled over or photographed for speeding in the process.
Simply put, if you are caught breaking the speed limit in an emergency and want to fight the charge, you will need to go to court, plead ‘not guilty’ and present your case before a magistrate.
You may have a defense if you had to speed because of an emergency, for example, if someone was seriously ill in the car. The magistrate will decide if his reason is good enough.
If you exceed the speed limit in an emergency, document everything as soon as possible
Once you have arrived at the hospital and the patient is receiving care, note the time, the route taken, and anything else pertinent to the trip, including weather and traffic conditions.
You will also need to retain all hospital admission and treatment records, including:
- The name and address of the physician who administered the treatment;
- The nature of the disease;
- The date and time the treatment was administered; and
- The circumstances that sustain the sudden or extraordinary emergency.
Risk assessment will form a large part of the magistrate’s approach to your case.
If you exceed the speed limit in an emergency and the police try to pull you over, pull over.
If you meet a police car on the way to the hospital and try to stop it, stop the vehicle immediately. The few extra seconds will de-escalate the situation and may even help your patient.
All police officers are first aid trained and will carry basic medical supplies. If you quickly explain the situation, the attending officers may be able to help your patient on the scene, transfer them to the police car for safer transport to a hospital, or in extreme cases, even provide an escort for their car. .
If you continue to drive while the police are chasing you, they may not understand the medical nature of the situation and treat you as a reckless or criminal driver. This will be judged negatively by the magistrate.
Reckless driving in an emergency is the worst decision you can make.
While we focus on exceeding the speed limit in an emergency, it is worth noting that driving in a manner that is considered reckless will not sit favorably with a magistrate.
Life isn’t a Hollywood car chase, so dangerously weaving through traffic or veering into the oncoming lane won’t help your patient. Any behavior that puts you or other road users at risk will be judged negatively and will not help your defense.
If you find yourself in a situation where taking a patient to the hospital is the most immediate and urgent care you can provide, try to remain calm and make good decisions.
Speeding, even in an emergency, is against the law, but if your actions could save someone’s life, then the law has a provision to understand.
Note: This article provides feedback only and is not intended to be legal advice.
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