Austin Emergency Vehicle Accident Attorney
In heavy traffic, you do your best to pull to the side of the road and allow a noisy ambulance, fire truck or police car to whiz by as they dart through lanes and run a red light. You ask yourself how those vehicles ever get to their emergency without causing a serious crash.
It turns out that these emergency vehicles do indeed cause serious accidents. If you’ve had the misfortune of being involved in a wreck with a fire truck, ambulance or police car, then you know how terrifying it can be – and how much damage can be left in its wake.
Chip Evans believes that an emergency is no excuse for reckless driving. If you’ve been injured by an emergency vehicle, you are well within your rights to file a legal claim for the costs you’re facing.
Contact the Evans/Reilley Law Firm today to schedule a free consultation with our firm.
The Responsibilities of Emergency Vehicle Drivers
We rely on emergency medical responders, police officers and firefighters to do their job when disaster strikes. These jobs are difficult and dangerous, and the people that do them are often heroic. As civilians, we do our best to make way for emergency vehicles out of respect for their importance and, of course, because it’s the law.
Though emergency vehicle drivers are responding to an emergency and given special permissions on our roads, they still have an obligation to navigate traffic in the safest manner possible.
Are There Legal Options Available for Victims of Emergency Vehicle Crashes?
Injury claims involving emergency vehicle crashes are more complicated than claims involving a crash between two passenger vehicles. Because these vehicles often involve workers employed by government entities, filing a lawsuit is more difficult. These drivers often have immunity from litigation. However, there are exceptions to this general rule.
If you’ve been injured in a crash involving an emergency vehicle, you should speak with an attorney who knows this area of the law to determine whether you have a case. It’s always worth considering your legal options when faced with medical bills, property damage and lost income stemming from another driver’s negligence.
Chip Evans knows the law, and he offers free consultations to learn more about your case. We will evaluate the circumstances surrounding your crash and determine the possibility of a legal claim to recover damages.
Crashes Involving Ambulances
Approximately 33 people die every year in crashes involving an ambulance, and another 1,500 people are injured in these crashes. Most fatalities are occupants of passenger vehicles and not the occupants of the ambulance.
Every year, there is an average of approximately 4,500 crashes involving ambulances. More than a third of those crashes resulted in an injury. In some cases, it’s the injured person being treated inside the ambulance that is hurt in an ambulance crash. This happens when emergency responders fail to safely secure an injured person.
Crashes Involving Police Cars
While fatalities in police car accidents are supposedly less frequent than those involving ambulances, they do happen. Official reports say that, each year, an average of 24 deaths occur in police car crashes. Most of those victims are the drivers of police cars.
A study from NHTSA found that from 1980 to 2015, 998 people were killed as occupants of law enforcement vehicles, of which 887 were in passenger vehicles and 111 were on motorcycles. Clearly, police officers face great risks when in a vehicle or on a motorcycle, but what about civilians?
Unfortunately, federal organizations do a poor job of accounting for non-law enforcement officials injured in police car accidents. In 2015, for example, USA Today investigated deaths due to police chases, finding that more than 400 people were killed in 2013 alone due to injuries sustained in a police chase. The NHTSA failed to account for at least 101 of those deaths.
Crashes Involving Fire Trucks
Fire trucks are just as hazardous as other emergency vehicles, if not more so. These vehicles are bigger and more difficult to control, and they can be deadly if involved in a crash. A firefighter is more likely to die in a fire truck crash than they are from smoke, flame or building collapses.
FEMA reviewed 500 incidents of firefighter injuries and found that, in those incidents, at least 228 civilians were also injured. The leading cause of civilian injuries in fire truck crashes is a collision between the fire truck and a passenger vehicle.
Contact the Evans/Reilley Law Firm to Learn More About Your Legal Options
Cases involving emergency vehicle crashes are complex, but you shouldn’t resign yourself to carrying the costs you’re facing. There are many options available to help you get compensation when you’re injured in a crash that wasn’t your fault.
Contact Chip Evans today to learn more about your legal options. We have helped many Austin vehicle accident victims get the payment they deserve, and we’re ready to meet with you about your case. Call us today or fill out our online form to schedule a free case evaluation.