Although time is of the essence when someone is injured, emergency vehicle drivers have a duty to drive responsibly and avoid reckless behavior that can endanger their passengers and other motorists. If you’ve been injured in an emergency vehicle accident, our experienced personal injury attorneys at Thomas, Conrad & Conrad can help you navigate the often complex process of filing a claim against a large company or government entity.
Types Of Emergency Vehicle Accidents
Ambulance Accidents — EMTs have a tough job to do and often need to get to a medical facility as quickly as possible, but the safety of their passengers and other people on the road should still be a top priority. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately 60 percent of ambulance accidents occur during the course of emergency use. Ambulances traveling at high speeds can cause deadly accidents, especially if a driver is poorly trained, fatigued or distracted.
Fire Truck Accidents — Much like ambulances, fire and rescue vehicles need to get to where they’re going fast. Speeding through intersections without using reasonable safety precautions can put many people’s lives at risk.
Police Car Accidents — Law enforcement vehicles involved in car chases can be particularly dangerous, especially when an officer fails to activate emergency lights and sirens properly. It can become even more hazardous when multiple emergency vehicles are all heading to the same place.
Common Causes Of Emergency Vehicle Accidents
Some causes of accidents include:
- Excessive speeding
- Failure to activate emergency lights/sirens
- Speeding through intersections
- Failure to yield
- Distracted driving
- Driver fatigue
- Poor driver training
- Mechanical failure
Whether you were injured as a passenger in an ambulance or collided with an emergency vehicle that was speeding through an intersection, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and losses. Pennsylvania is a no-fault insurance state, which means that your own auto insurance pays for your medical bills and property damage up to policy limits first. If an ambulance company is owned by a private entity, you can bring a claim against them just like you would an individual, but if you were injured by a government employee or vehicle, bringing a personal injury claim can be challenging.
Bringing A Claim Against A Government Agency
Government immunity laws in accident cases differ from one jurisdiction to another, and there are strict time limits for when you can bring a personal injury claim. The standard for proving negligence is often much higher when bringing a claim against the government than what’s required in a case involving a private individual. Cases involving emergency vehicles are even more complicated, as these types of vehicles are given great latitude due to their need to respond in a timely manner. However, drivers of emergency vehicle also have a responsibility to preserve public safety while responding. That’s why it’s vital to contact an attorney if you or a loved one has been injured in an emergency vehicle accident. A knowledgeable personal injury lawyer can advise you on the best course of action to recover compensation, assist you with the process of filing a claim and ensure that all deadlines and requirements are met.
If you’ve been injured in an accident with an emergency vehicle, our personal injury attorneys at Thomas, Conrad & Conrad can help. Call 610-867-2900 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.