Emergency Vehicle Accident Claims
San Francisco Accident Attorneys Protecting Your Rights
Nationally, hundreds of people are killed and thousands are injured in emergency vehicle crashes every year. The bulk of those killed in emergency vehicle accidents are the drivers and passengers of civilian cars, which often are lighter and smaller than ambulances and police cruisers. Although emergency vehicles are often working under immense pressure, emergency personnel are required to operate their vehicles safely and stop any unsafe actions when responding to emergency incidents. Safety guidelines and procedures must be enforced when operating emergency vehicles at all times.
Common Reasons for Accidents by Emergency Vehicles
When a vehicle responds to an emergency, it is often due to time-sensitive situations such as a criminal threat or a life-threatening medical emergency. In order to arrive in a prompt manner, drivers are allowed to run red lights, drive the opposite of traffic, and go faster than the speed limit. The stress of the situation combined with high-risk driving can lead to serious accidents.
Accidents caused by emergency vehicles can be traced to these main factors:
- Distracted driver: Emergency responders often have to attend to communication from dispatchers, navigate traffic conditions, manage arrival times, and many other information on the drive. All of these can cause distractions that make driving more dangerous.
- Driver stress: Responding to emergencies is incredibly stressful due to the urgent nature of each call. The added stress also comes from long shifts and fatigue, which can cause unintentional errors.
Who Pays for Damages if an Accident is Caused by an Emergency Vehicle?
While emergency vehicles are given the authority to disregard certain traffic laws, they must still drive in a non-negligent manner. However, in most states and in California, the emergency personnel are typically not liable for personal injury damages that result from an emergency call. This means that you may not be able to pursue compensation from the government.
There are exceptions, such as if your lawyer can prove that an emergency vehicle driver acted in excessive negligence leading to your accident. For example, if the ambulance driver did not turn on the siren to notify other drivers on the road of an emergency and collides into another car. Work with an experienced attorney to help you analyze your case and help you determine if you are eligible to pursue a claim.
Hit by an Ambulance, Police or Firetruck?
If you have been injured by an emergency vehicle such as an ambulance, police car or firetruck, contact an attorney immediately to help you determine if you are able to pursue compensation. At the Scarlett Law Group, we have a team of dedicated accident lawyers who have a proven track record of helping our clients fight for the compensation they need.