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What Should You Do When Injured by an Emergency Vehicle?

Accidents that involve emergency vehicles, including police cars, ambulances and fire trucks are a serious issue in the U.S. The fatality rates related to emergency responders is estimated to be 4.8 times higher than the national average. The majority of emergency vehicle accidents take place at intersections near driveways and areas that are inadequately lit. Because most emergency vehicles travel at higher rates of speed during urgent situations, the accidents that occur often result in serious injuries, or even death.

Statistics Related to Emergency Vehicle Accidents

The fact is, accidents that occur with emergency vehicles are a serious problem in the U.S. Consider some of the statistics found here.

  • Ambulance accidents: According to information from the NHTSA, there were 4,500 accidents involving ambulances in the 20 year period between 1992 and 2011.
  • Individuals killed in ambulance related accidents were varied with 63 percent being occupants in a passenger vehicle and 21 percent passengers in the ambulance.
  • From the period of 2000 to 2009 there were 31,600 accidents that involved fire trucks with 70 percent of these accidents occurring during an emergency situation.
  • There are approximately 300 fatalities in the U.S. each year during police pursuits

As you can see, the statistics related to emergency vehicle accidents in the U.S. are quite shocking. When these accidents occur, many victims are left wondering if they have any course of action to recover compensation.

Proving Negligence

If you are involved in an accident with an emergency vehicle, the first thing you should do is to hire a personal injury attorney. This is because you must prove that the driver of the emergency vehicle acted in a negligent manner. Some examples that indicate negligence include:

  • Trying to make it through areas that are too narrow
  • Taking turns while moving at a high rate of speed
  • Following other vehicles on the road too closely
  • Speeding through an intersection without looking to ensure the road is clear
  • Not using the lights or sirens to let other drivers know what is going on

A collision that involves an emergency vehicle is more common than most people think because these vehicles are usually coming to help, not to cause additional injuries or damages.

Taking Action

If you are injured in a collision with an emergency vehicle, regardless of if they are responding to an emergency situation, you have rights. If you hire a personal injury attorney, they can make sure your rights are protected. Don’t wait to call, as there is a statute of limitations related to how long you have to file a claim.