Emergency Vehicle Accidents
When people’s lives or property are in danger, emergency vehicles like police cruisers, fire engines, and ambulances are dispatched to the scene to provide assistance to victims. But because time is of the essence in these situations, the drivers of emergency vehicles are often required to undertake otherwise risky behaviors, such as running red lights and stop signs, cutting vehicles off in traffic, and even driving the wrong direction in order to reach an accident scene.
While emergency vehicle drivers receive extensive training in order to perform these maneuvers as safely and effectively as possible, sometimes they exercise poor judgment on the job and cause accidents of their own. When that happens, they can be held liable for any injuries or damages that victims suffer if the accident was caused by negligence.
What are Common Causes of Emergency Vehicle Accidents?
Like any car accidents, accidents involving emergency vehicles have a wide variety of causes. However, there are a few common factors in these types of accidents that we see more often than others at our practice:
- Distracted driving
Because emergency responders must arrive at accident scenes quickly, drivers are required keep their full and undivided attention on the road at all times. Unfortunately, emergency vehicle drivers are equally susceptible to distractions as other drivers on the roadway—but the combination of high speeds and occasionally risky driving behaviors makes even momentary distractions extremely dangerous in these situations.
- Insufficient driver training
Driving an ambulance, fire truck, or even a police car at high speeds during emergency situations requires extreme concentration, focus, and calm. That’s why all emergency responders must undergo extensive training in order to handle the stresses of responding to accidents or injuries when every second counts. If a driver doesn’t receive proper training, he may be much more likely to cause a serious accident while responding to a call.
- Excessive speed
While driving an emergency vehicle requires driving at speeds that are often higher than the posted speed limit, there’s also a threshold where excessive speeds can become dangerous for both the emergency responders and other motorists on the road. Driving at extreme speeds not only makes it much more difficult for drivers to stop or slow down when necessary, but it also makes vehicles much more difficult to control and even more prone to flipping over—especially when turning.
- Not taking proper precautions
Blaring sirens and flashing lights are enough to get the attention of almost all drivers on the roadway, but emergency vehicle drivers can’t assume that all drivers are aware of their presence. That’s why it’s important for drivers to proceed cautiously through intersections—especially when they don’t have a green light—and to make sure their presence is known by motorists in the area before making potentially risky maneuvers.
Being involved in a car accident is bad enough, but it can be even more stressful when the accident was caused by a negligent emergency vehicle driver. But just because the driver may work for your local police department, fire hall, or hospital doesn’t make you ineligible to receive compensation.
How Can Matt Hardin Law Help?
Filing a claim for compensation after getting injured by a collision involving an emergency vehicle may seem intimidating—especially if you believe the accident may have been partially your fault. However, the Nashville emergency vehicle accidents lawyers at Matt Hardin Law know that many victims of these types of accidents were actually harmed due to the negligence of the other driver—not because of any mistakes of their own.
Let us investigate your accident. We’ll leave no stone unturned as we gather evidence that will help prove that the other driver’s negligence caused your injuries. Then, we’ll pursue the maximum compensation for you and your family. Just dial (615) 200-1111 or complete a free and confidential online form.