You cannot drive more than a few miles in Washington D.C. without seeing or hearing an emergency response vehicle driving by. Sometimes you hear the siren far away but never see the car. Other times the ambulance or police car will come speeding by you, almost striking your car. When a driver is involved in an accident with an emergency response vehicle they may feel like they are automatically at fault. However, your DC injury attorney will be able to help you file a claim to make cover your medical bills and car repairs.
Emergency Response Vehicle Accidents
When you hear sirens or see flashing lights, you are generally supposed to yield the right of way. This may mean pulling over to the side of the road or waiting through a green light until the emergency vehicle passes by. However, this does not always mean that the emergency response driver is in the right if they are involved in an accident. Ambulance and fire truck drivers are supposed to drive safely and operate with due care. When the emergency response vehicle driver is negligent they may get into an accident and injuring other drivers or passengers.
Even though emergency vehicles drive with a different set of rules than most of us, they are usually not given much official training on how to drive. They may just have the same limited driver training that other drivers receive before they first get their driver's license. Instead, they may get their emergency vehicle driving experience on the job. Without proper training, emergency vehicle drivers may be even more likely to get into an accident than other drivers.
Common Ambulance Accidents
There are a number of reasons an emergency response vehicle can get into an accident. Ambulance drivers may be speeding through residential areas leaving some drivers with no chance to avoid an accident. Emergency vehicles are generally supposed to stop at traffic signals before proceeding through; however, many drivers run stop signs or roll through stop lights. Drivers may also be distracted by operating the radio or following a map and not pay attention to the traffic around them.
After an accident with an emergency response vehicle, the ambulance, fire truck, or police car may simply continue without stopping. The driver may think their emergency is more important than the accident they were involved in. If possible, get some identifying information from the emergency vehicle, including license plate number, name on the side of the vehicle, or other information. In some cases, you may want to get contact information from any eyewitnesses who saw the accident.
If you are injured in an accident with an emergency response vehicle, you should get medical attention as soon as possible. Accidents involving emergency response vehicles can result in broken bones, head or face trauma, back or neck injuries, lacerations, eye injuries, or internal injuries. Even minor injuries can become more serious if they are ignored. Medical treatment may result in expensive medical bills, prescription costs, and continuing medical care.
Personal Injury Claims
If you are involved in an accident with another driver then you may have to deal with their automobile insurance company. If you are filing a personal injury lawsuit, you may seek damages from the individual driver. However, in an accident with an emergency response vehicle, the driver may be an employee of a private ambulance company or an employee of the District of Columbia. In these cases, you may seek damages from the driver and their employer. In most cases, an employer is responsible for the actions of their employee if they are acting in the course of their employment.
After an injury involving an emergency response vehicle you may be facing medical bills, lost wages, permanent injury, and pain and suffering. The person responsible for causing the accident should be held accountable for the damage they caused. Your DC personal injury attorney will seek compensation from the driver, the insurance company, ambulance company, or city department responsible for your injuries. They will fight to get you the compensation you deserve so you can focus on recovery.
Emergency Vehicle Accident Attorneys
If you or a loved one was injured in an accident involving an ambulance, you should talk to an experienced DC personal injury attorney about getting compensation for your lost wages, medical bills, and pain and suffering. Your personal injury attorney will help guide you through the claims process and advise you of your options. You should not have to suffer due to someone else's negligence. Do not hesitate to call Gilman & Bedigian today for a free consultation.