At some point in our lives, we have all been driving through traffic when we suddenly hear the siren of an emergency vehicle. Ambulances, police cars, fire trucks, all of them trying to pass the cars to attend to an emergency and/or save a life.
When we hear the sirens, the logical thing for drivers to do is to pull over and get out of the way, giving way to these vehicles. Emergency services are legally allowed to speed by the nature of their work. However, speeding and running red stops are not a good mix but rather a perfect recipe for an accident.
What happens when a private vehicle collides with an emergency vehicle? Where is the responsibility? This can be a highly complex process, so having an experienced attorney can help guide you through the confusion.
According to investigations carried out by the National Safety Council, 168 people died in this type of accident during 2018. More than half of the victims were passengers in private vehicles. The emergency vehicles that tend to have the most accidents are police cars, followed by ambulances and fire trucks in the last place.
Most of these vehicles are owned by the government, which is why they 1) may have immunity from personal injury accidents; and 2) can be challenging to initiate a claim and legal process against government agencies.
However, an attorney with extensive experience in these matters will be able to determine whether the driver of the emergency vehicle was driving negligently and if they can be held liable for the collision.
An example of this could be a police officer driving distractedly during an emergency or an emergency response vehicle speeding and running red lights without having the siren on. This prevents people from becoming aware that an emergency is underway and acting accordingly. This can lead to collisions.
If you or a loved one have been involved in such a collision, contact SM Law as soon as possible.