Wheelchairs in Assistance Vans

A recent case caught my eye- it involved a woman who was wheelchair-bound and who was being transported in a county transportation van via a mechanical lift. During this process, the woman was left alone, at which time she inadvertently released the brakes on her wheelchair in an attempt to roll into the van. She unfortunately rolled backwards, fell off the lift and sustained a broken neck which rendered her a quadriplegic up until her death.

Plaintiff alleged that the van attendant was negligent for failing to strap her wheelchair onto the lift and also by failing to stand behind her as she rolled into the van. Not surprisingly, the case settled for a large sum of money.

It was clear that plaintiff was not being as careful as she should have been; however, the lesson here is that when an attendant of a public livery/cab provides assistance to a customer, that assistance must be provided with reasonable care.

Here at Harris & Associates, we are happy to meet with you and discuss your legal rights and remedies.