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Emergency Vehicle Accident

Emergency Vehicle Crashes and Injury Attorneys

Our auto accident lawyers know when emergency vehicles are responding to a scene, it is usually for good reason. Conversely, when ambulance operators make their presence known using lights and sirens, which is standard during an emergency, the National Safety Council (NSC) reports they are up to 16 times more likely to crash.

Last year alone, the NSC reported there were 180 traffic accident fatalities and thousands of injury victims from crashes involving emergency vehicles. Because of the size of an ambulance, most of the deaths, 56%, were occupants of non-emergency vehicles. Pedestrians accounted for another 25%, while emergency vehicle drivers represented 11%, and emergency vehicle passengers accounted for about 5% of the overall fatalities.

While most emergency vehicle drivers are immune from personal injury lawsuits if the accident occurred while the driver was responding to an emergency, that only applies to state, county, and city-operated ambulance services that are dispatched by 911. Even that legality will depend on the details of the accident and whether the driver’s negligent behavior caused the collision.

However, these protective laws do not apply to private ambulance companies.

Here is what emergency vehicle accident and injury victims need to know about their rights to pursue a claim after a crash.

Can I Pursue a Private Emergency Vehicle Operator or Company for My Accident and Injuries?

Unlike government-run ambulance services, private ambulance companies are NEVER called by 911 Dispatch.

These companies, while valuable, are used to relieve county and state emergency vehicles when the patient is stable and believed to be minimally injured.

Most private ambulance drivers must obtain permission from a dispatch supervisor before using lights or sirens. The fact is, private ambulance drivers should never violate speed limits, traffic control devices, or use the wrong lane on roads because they do not respond to technical emergencies. That means, when these drivers take on the role of a 911 responder, they are putting drivers, motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians at risk.

Investigations into ambulance crashes have shown that private ambulance companies are not professionally training drivers, are failing to supervise drivers to ensure they are following traffic laws, and frequently fail to enforce their corporate safety protocols and procedures that are designed to keep the public safe.

If an emergency vehicle causes an accident after violating any such law without justification for doing so, the driver and their employer may be held liable for the injuries or fatalities they caused.

If you have been injured in an accident with an emergency vehicle, contact our skilled car accident attorneys today to learn more about your legal rights and options to hold the liable party — or combination of parties — accountable for your full financial recovery.

Can I Pursue a Government-Owned Emergency Vehicle for My Accident and Injuries?

Emergency vehicles owned by city, county, or state governments are protected from personal injury lawsuits that may result from a collision. This typically means the drivers of the emergency vehicles are also immune. However, there are exceptions to this immunity.

They may include when the emergency vehicle driver — whether responding to an emergency or not — acts negligently with reckless disregard for the safety of others by:

  • Speeding and ignoring traffic signs without using flashing lights and sirens
  • Failing to use caution in heavy traffic or through intersections
  • Driving while extremely fatigued or distracted
  • Not stopping when pedestrians are in a walkway
  • Making a turn at high speed
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs

No matter which type of emergency vehicle caused your accident and injuries, or the loss of your loved one, you have rights and our skilled team of personal injury lawyers want to help protect them.

Contact Our Skilled Emergency Vehicle Accident & Injury Lawyers for a Free Consultation

Contact our experienced emergency vehicle accident attorneys to schedule a free consultation today by calling 888-904-2524 to learn more about your legal rights and options to pursue the liable party who caused your vehicle collision for your full financial recovery.