A recent Brooklyn crash that sent two people to a local hospital with injuries involved an ambulance, according to reports. So far, the victims appear to be in stable condition. It was not clear whether the victims were both in the car that collided with an ambulance at the intersection of Atlantic and Bedford Avenues or if one of the victims was in the ambulance itself.
What Happens When There Is A Crash Involving a Rescue Vehicle?
“Rescue vehicle” is the collective term used for an ambulance, fire truck, police car or other vehicle that is responding to the scene of an accident or transporting victims. Rescue vehicles do not have blanket immunity from liability when their drivers crash; however, other drivers are required to observe rules regarding the right-of-way of these types of vehicles. Failure to yield the right of way to an actively involved rescue vehicle could result in charges.
When a rescue vehicle and another vehicle crash, the first question is always whether the rescue vehicle was actively involved in an emergency situation. The next question is whether the driver of the rescue vehicle engaged the lights, sirens and other warning devices to let drivers know that they should yield. If the driver was simply traveling from one place to another without responding to an emergency, or did not engage lights and sirens, the driver of the rescue vehicle may be liable for causing the accident.
Rescue Vehicle Drivers, Government Agencies, and Private Businesses
Complicating the issue of rescue vehicle accidents even further is the fact that not all rescue vehicles are employed by state or local government agencies. Some vehicles are actually owned by private businesses that contract their services to another entity. For example, many ambulance services are now contracted to hospitals, and their drivers may serve more than one hospital. Other ambulances are connected to fire stations or police stations and are owned by the government.
In order to give yourself the best chance to collect compensation for your injuries, it is important that you speak to a personal injury attorney about your rescue vehicle accident. The attorneys at Fitzgerald Law Firm in New York can work with you to determine who is responsible for your accident and who is liable for payment of damages. Call today for a free consultation about your case.