How to Receive Compensation for Medivac Services After an Accident

Key Points:

  • Air ambulances, commonly known as medivacs, are typically used to transport severely injured accident victims.
  • These aircrafts are equipped with highly skilled medical technicians and equipment that can help victims get the best and quickest life-saving care.
  • Air ambulance services can be very expensive and may not be covered by auto insurance. Therefore, accident victims who receive this care should consider working with an attorney who create a strong case for compensation.  

What Is an Air Ambulance?

Medical Helicopter taking off
Medical Helicopter taking off

An air ambulance, sometimes called a medivac, life-flight, or angel-flight, is an aircraft specially equipped and staffed to transport sick or severely injured patients to hospitals where critical care can be provided. Because these aircrafts do not have to rely on highway routes and can fly directly over heavy traffic, mountains, flooded rivers, washed-out bridges, or other obstacles, air ambulances can be the quickest and most efficient way of moving patients in need of urgent care.

While most air ambulances are medical helicopters, jets and other fixed-wing aircrafts are sometimes used across the country. Flights for these planes must usually originate from an area airport or airfield and are then dispatched to hospitals where the patient can receive the necessary medical services. In addition, burn centers and other specialized hospitals are frequently served by air ambulances.

When a patient is severely injured, time is critical and mere minutes can make the difference between life and death. Therefore, these air ambulances can truly save lives. Such transportation moves the patient to a nearby hospital as quickly and comfortably as possible. If the patient needs specialized care at a treatment facility that is hundreds of miles away, air ambulances are also especially useful.

The following are several circumstances when an air ambulance may be used:

  • For spinal or head injuries or burn care
  • Heart attack or stroke
  • Life support or oxygen along with highly skilled medical assistance to sustain life during the trip
  • Traumatic injuries
  • Uncontrolled bleeding
  • When immediate surgery appears necessary
  • Respiratory distress
  • Pregnancy complications
  • Critical illness
  • Neurological conditions

Are Air Ambulances Used in Atlanta After a Car Accident?

Air ambulance services can be expensive, so they are not usually the first choice for transporting injured parties. However, when catastrophic injuries are involved, air ambulances can be the best mode of transportation to help save a victim’s life. In busy cities like Atlanta, where roadway gridlock can hinder traditional ambulance services, an air ambulance helicopter can easily navigate from the scene of the accident.

Who Will Call for an Air Ambulance After a Car Accident?

Any of the responding emergency personnel can make the decision to call an air ambulance. Upon evaluating the circumstances, first responders make the most prudent decision for transporting injured victims and maximizing the patient’s chances for survival.

If a patient is already at the hospital, doctors may also recognize that immediate air transport is necessary to relocate them to a facility with more specialized care.

What Type of Motor Vehicle Accidents Often Result in an Air Ambulance Ride?

Vehicular accidents of any kind can result in catastrophic injuries – when they do, air ambulances may be the best transportation available. As a general rule, high-speed, high-impact accidents result in the worst injuries. In addition, accidents involving large trucks crashing into smaller vehicles, motorcycles, bicycles, or pedestrians tend to result in more disastrous injuries that require exigent transport using air ambulances.

What Hospitals in Atlanta Often Receive Air Ambulances?

These days, even small, rural hospitals are set up to facilitate air ambulance services, so most Atlanta hospitals can accommodate lift-flights. Many larger hospitals have landing pads on the roof or on the property to make urgent care more readily available.

What Is the Cost of a Life Flight After a Car Accident?

Air ambulance services can be very expensive because a fully equipped and expertly staffed emergency room is essentially coming directly to the victim.

The average life-flight ranges around 50 miles, costing $12,000 to $25,000, depending on the necessary level of care.

How Insurance Companies Handle the Large Expense of an Air Ambulance

Unfortunately, Georgia insurance policy limits set by law are generally far too small to cover air-ambulance services. For this reason, the services of a life-flight may not be covered by auto insurance.

While particular insurance policies can be purchased to pay for life-flight services, they are not required by law in Georgia. Some of these policies also impose limits on the distance covered, who may be transported, and other details. If you wish to consider such a policy, be certain to discuss it thoroughly with your insurance agent to understand what is covered.

With the help of a personal injury attorney, it may be possible to make a claim against the insurance of the at-fault driver and win. Experienced attorneys know how to put together thorough claims to help you collect full and fair compensation to cover the cost of air-ambulance services. It is a good idea to consult with an attorney about the totality of your costs before initiating an insurance claim.

- D. Lo
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