If you are driving along and suddenly hear sirens and see flashing lights, it means a police car, fire truck, or ambulance is responding to an emergency. Naturally, you try to get out of the way and let them safely pass. However, there are situations where accidents occur between passenger vehicles and emergency vehicles. When these take place, the question of liability can be confusing, which is why you will need a car accident lawyer New York residents know has the experience and knowledge to handle such cases.
Emergency Vehicle Drivers
If you are involved in an accident with an emergency vehicle, you may assume you can file a car accident claim against the vehicle's driver. However, that may not be the case. In fact, many states make emergency vehicle drivers immune from personal injury lawsuits if they were in the act of responding to an emergency at the time of the crash. Yet this could all change if you and your New York car accident lawyers can prove the emergency vehicle driver failed to perform critical duties as they were responding, including:
- No vehicle sirens on at time of crash
- No flashing lights on at time of crash
Since these vehicles proceed through intersections at high rates of speed, even when traffic lights are red, major injuries can occur in these crashes.
Negligence and Carelessness
If it can be proven by your car accident lawyer New York trusts to handle these cases that the emergency vehicle driver was clearly negligent and careless behind the wheel, they are then held to the same standards as drivers of passenger vehicles, meaning you could file a car accident claim against them. However, since emergency vehicle drivers use GPS, police scanners, laptop computers, and other types of technology when responding to these calls, proving they were negligent or careless behind the wheel can be difficult. To do so, you will need a combination of witness accounts, details from the accident report, and other information that can add credibility to your case.
Suing Government Agencies
Should you decide to pursue a lawsuit against the government entity or agency that owns the emergency vehicle involved in your accident, you can expect to face factors different from a typical personal injury lawsuit. In most cases, you will be required to fill out a variety of forms that must be submitted to the specific agency in question. Also, you usually have a much more narrow window of time to do so, meaning you cannot procrastinate following your accident. However, you may be able to prove certain conditions existed that constitute negligence, such as:
- Emergency vehicle was not properly maintained
- Driver operated vehicle in reckless manner
- Vehicle equipment came loose and hit your vehicle
Whatever the case may be, hire a car accident lawyer New York victims trust immediately following your accident.
Should you need legal counsel following your accident with an emergency vehicle, schedule a consultation today with New York car accident lawyers to discuss your case.