Emergency services personnel serve the public. They are the first ones to respond to accidents, illness, fire, and criminal incidents. They are often required to drive at high speeds to reach persons in distress in a timely manner. The high-pitched sirens and blaring lights of emergency vehicles give warning to other drivers to make way for them. The drivers of emergency vehicles must nevertheless take certain precautions to avoid accidents.
Collisions with emergency vehicles are rare, but they do happen. If you are involved in an accident with an emergency vehicle, it will probably be serious. The accident most likely occurred while the vehicle was driving at high speed, which means you may have been seriously injured. If you or a loved one has been injured by an emergency vehicle it is important that you consult with an experienced car accident attorney.
Holding the Right People Accountable
Most of the time drivers of emergency vehicles are immune from lawsuits for accidents caused while they were responding to an emergency. However, this immunity is not limitless. These first responders can still be held accountable for reckless and negligent behavior.
When responding to a situation, an emergency vehicle is expected to speed, run red lights and stop signs, and engage in other driving behavior that is prohibited at other times. Emergency vehicles can even drive in the opposite lane if it helps them provide help as soon as they can, or if they are in pursuit of a dangerous suspect.
Drivers of such vehicles must still exercise caution when they are around other vehicles. Even if they use lights and sirens, they should still slow down at intersections to ensure they can safely drive through them. They must also avoid driving through spaces that are too narrow or making turns at high speeds.
You have a role to play in keeping safe in these situations. If you hear emergency sirens approaching, pull over. Failure to do so will make you liable for the crash, and it will be hard for you to successfully pursue a claim.
If you have done your part and still manage to collide with an emergency vehicle, it may owe to the negligence and carelessness of the driver. In such an instance, it is possible for you to file a lawsuit against the department, organization, or agency that employs the first responder. If the organization is privately owned, then you may proceed against them as you would against any other corporate entity. You will need to demonstrate that the first responder acted in an exceptionally unsafe and egregious way, that their driving behavior caused the accident, and that you are owed compensation as a result.
If the agency that employs the first responder is owned by a municipality or city government, then you will need to open proceedings against them. Going up against the city is filled with difficulties and complexities that only an experienced car accident attorney will know how to untangle and sort through.
Other vehicles are often negligent when they ignore emergency vehicle warnings. Each case is different, so it is important to have an experienced attorney to review the accident and establish the negligence of the third party.
Rebuilding Your Life
An accident involving an emergency vehicle can take a terrible toll on your life. It can put you in the hospital and out of work for some time. This can lead to serious financial distress and the falling apart of life as you know it.
If the emergency responder was at fault, you should seek compensation from their employer. You need not do so alone. Hiring a car accident attorney will provide you with the insight and representation you need. An experienced car accident attorney will be able to provide you the right path to recover compensation for your injuries and also a way to deal with government bureaucracy, which makes these types of cases very difficult to resolve without many years of legal experience.
If you would like to speak with an experienced car accident attorney, please call our law offices today at any of our convenient locations and get a free consultation.
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