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Accident with Emergency Vehicle

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While emergency vehicles ensure public safety and respond to emergencies, their operation at high speeds and through dense traffic can lead to dangerous situations. Like other traffic collisions, emergency vehicle wrecks can lead to serious injuries and fatalities. If you’re involved in an accident with an emergency vehicle, it’s important to know your rights.

The aftermath of a traffic accident involving a police car, fire truck, or ambulance can be confusing. The steps you should take for a successful outcome aren’t always clear. That’s why you should seek help from a Premier Emergency Vehicle Accident Lawyer who can inform you of your rights and handle your claim from start to finish. Schedule a free consultation today!

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Traffic accidents caused by emergency vehicles are typically linked to:

  • High-speed responses: Emergency vehicles frequently operate at high speeds to reach their destinations quickly. Speeding increases the likelihood of collisions, especially in dense traffic or adverse weather conditions.
  • Visibility and hearing challenges: Emergency vehicles use sirens and flashing lights to alert other drivers, but these signals may not always be noticed or properly interpreted. Sometimes, emergency vehicle operators fail to use sirens and flashing lights when necessary.
  • Intersection management: Intersections pose significant challenges for emergency vehicles, as they often require rapid decision-making and negotiation of right-of-way. Confusion or miscommunication at intersections can result in collisions between emergency vehicles and other vehicles.
  • Driver errors: Both emergency vehicle operators and civilian drivers can make errors that contribute to traffic accidents.

Proving fault in an emergency vehicle accident can be challenging due to the unique circumstances involved. Emergency vehicles often have the right-of-way when responding to emergencies. That’s why it’s important to establish liability accurately. An experienced attorney can evaluate the following:

Duty of care

Emergency vehicle operators are held to a duty of care to operate their vehicles safely, even when responding to emergencies. This duty includes taking reasonable precautions to avoid endangering other road users and property while still fulfilling their emergency response obligations.

Negligence

Claims arising from accidents involving emergency vehicles often hinge on negligence. Negligence occurs when a party breaches their duty of care and causes harm or damages to another party.

Determining negligence in these cases requires a careful examination of the circumstances leading up to the accident and whether any party failed to uphold their duty of care.

Legal immunity

Emergency responders may be afforded certain legal immunities or protections when acting in the course of their duties. These immunities generally aim to shield emergency responders from liability when their actions are deemed reasonable and necessary under the circumstances.

However, immunity is not absolute, and emergency responders can still be held accountable for gross negligence or willful misconduct.

Comparative fault

In some cases, fault for an accident with an emergency vehicle may be shared among multiple parties. Comparative fault principles allow courts to apportion responsibility based on each party's degree of fault. This means that even if a civilian driver is partially at fault for an accident, they may still be entitled to recover damages, albeit reduced by their percentage of fault.

If you’re involved in a crash with an emergency vehicle, and it’s safe to do so, document the accident scene by taking photos or videos. Capture the positions of all vehicles involved, including the emergency vehicle, any damage, and road conditions. Note any traffic signs, signals, or traffic control devices at the scene.

Speak to any witnesses who saw the accident and request their contact information. Witnesses can provide valuable accounts of what happened. Also, get a copy of a police report prepared by responding officers. This can provide crucial information about the collision, such as how it happened and who was likely responsible.

In addition to this, an attorney can examine dashcams and surveillance footage. Many vehicles, including emergency vehicles, are equipped with dashcams.

If there is a dispute over fault, an attorney may work with accident reconstruction experts to analyze the circumstances regarding your accident and determine liability.

The average settlement for a not-at-fault accident involving an emergency vehicle can vary depending on the severity of the accident, the extent of damages and injuries, and insurance coverage.

The more severe the damages, the higher the potential settlement amount. Serious injuries often result in larger settlements to cover medical expenses, rehabilitation, and pain and suffering.

The cost of medical treatment and ongoing care for injuries sustained in the accident will be a significant factor in determining the settlement amount. If the accident resulted in lost wages or income due to injuries, the settlement may include compensation for these financial losses. Additionally, compensation for pain and suffering, emotional distress, and diminished quality of life may be included in your settlement.

If it’s clear that the accident was caused by the negligence of an emergency vehicle driver, your settlement may be higher. However, if there is shared liability or contributory negligence, the settlement may be adjusted accordingly. Some states have comparative negligence laws that prohibit you from seeking damages if you’re 50% or 51% at fault. Others allow you to pursue damages, even if you’re 99% at fault.

If you were involved in an accident with an emergency vehicle, you don’t have to handle your claim alone. A skilled Premier Emergency Vehicle Accident Lawyer can fight to protect your rights, provide legal guidance, and advocate for you every step of the way.

There is no financial risk to hiring a Law.com verified attorney. Their contingency fee structure allows you to get legal representation without paying any upfront or hidden legal fees. They only take a certain amount of your final settlement or financial award if you’re fully compensated.

To begin your journey to recovery, contact a Premier Lawyer in your area and schedule a free consultation. They’ll provide honest answers to any questions you have and help you explore your legal options.

Injured? Call Now
1-866-828-0442
Talk to a LAW.COM Premier Attorney today!

Free Evaluation

Tell us about your potential case.

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By submitting you agree to our Terms & Privacy Policy.
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Injured? Speak to a LAW.COM
Premier Attorney

1-866-828-0442 or Submit Your Case Form