If you live in Western New York, you may have seen a sign in a grassy field or a neighbor’s front lawn that says “Mercy Flight was here.” Buffalo’s air ambulance service is certainly a blessing for the most serious emergencies in the area, but how do paramedics decide when it’s necessary, and moreover, what if someone can’t pay for it?
Who Gets Mercy Flight?
Mercy Flight is reserved for medical emergencies where minutes matter and help can’t wait, such as a severe car crash. After a catastrophic car accident, police officers and an ambulance will be dispatched to the scene. Once there, paramedics will evaluate the situation and determine the severity of the injuries. If they believe those injured are in imminent danger or that their lives are at risk, they may call in an air ambulance.
Once a helicopter arrives on the scene, patients will be placed inside and taken to the hospital. Depending on the injured person’s condition, they may not have a strong say in whether they accept this ride, which can lead to some anxiety in how they’ll cover the bill.
The Cost of Mercy Flight
According to an investigation by WKBW, the average Mercy Flight costs around $7,000-$8,000, or about 8x-9x more than a standard ambulance ride. This bill is sent to the insurance companies, but patients with less coverage may be required to pay a portion out of pocket.
The good news is that Mercy Flight is a nonprofit organization, and they accept donations and operate a charity program to help patients without insurance coverage. At the same time, those injured because of someone else’s negligence can speak with an experienced car accident attorney about filing a claim and pursuing the damages they need to make a full recovery.
If you or someone you love suffered serious injuries in a car crash, our Rochester car accident attorneys are here to help. If you’d like to schedule a free case consultation with an experienced attorney from Faraci Lange, LLP, please don’t hesitate to send us an email or call (888) 997-4110. We’re here to help.