Law Office of James M. Hoffmann Articles Is It Okay to Take an Uber to the Hospital After a Work Accident?

Is It Okay to Take an Uber to the Hospital After a Work Accident?

By James Hoffmann  Jul. 10, 2019 4:59p

Nobody can deny that Uber and other ride-sharing apps completely change the way people move around the city. It’s easy, efficient, and often a lot more affordable than other means of transportation.

Though you may think Uber is a commodity one turns to solely to get around town, there is an increasing trend of using this service in medical emergency situations. Studies show that the number of ambulance rides drops whenever Uber breaks into the market. The question is:is it a good idea to use Uber after awork accident?

Why It's Not a The Best Idea

Some people believe that it’s better to use Uber to get to the hospital after a work accident, particularly if the incident wasn’t severe. If the person is conscious, and there is no severe and visible trauma, Uber can seem like a faster, and cheaper option for going to the hospital.

However, it may not be the safest. Uber drivers lack the medical training ambulance personnel have, so even if you do have an issue the requires immediate attention, you will only get it once you arrive at the hospital. It’s also possible for your medical state to change mid-transit, which could potentially be quite dangerous.

When you call an ambulance, you get a team of professionally trained people who can provide first aid and get you stable enough for transport. Additionally, ambulances during an emergency do not have to abide by regular traffic laws, so there is less chance of getting stuck in traffic while you're suffering.

Your Employer May Insist

It may not be the employee who insists on taking an Uber to the emergency room, but their employer. In Missouri, the employer has the right to choose the doctor that will treat you. That right is often given to the insurance company that ultimately gives the compensation benefits.

The law also states that workers compensation covers the costs of medical treatment, from the ambulance ride to the initial emergency room visits and subsequent appointments. Employers and insurance companies may want you to take an Uber in order to get you to the clinic of their choice, as the ambulance driver will take you to the closest clinic. They are legally obligated to do this.

By asking you to take an Uber, insurance companies regain control of the medical costs. However, even if the law states they can choose who gets to treat you, Missouri also recognizes that all actions must be taken in the best interest of the injured worker. As a result, you can refuse to take an Uber and insist on an ambulance.

What Should You Do After a Work Injury?

Your safest option is to wait for an ambulance to take you to the emergency room. If the employer or insurance company insist on an Uber, it’s best to stand your ground. Get in touch with a St. Louis workers comp lawyer for additional support.

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