The Do's and Don'ts After a Car Accident
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The Do's and Don'ts After a Car Accident

I was recently involved in a car accident. Unfortunately, since it was my first accident, I was scatter-brained and anxious. What I did not realize at the time was that the actions you take immediately after the accident can affect a personal injury case and the outcome of that case. I wanted to find a way to share my experiences and mistakes with other. Since the Internet is so popular, I figured this would be a great way to do so. While you likely aren't planning on being in an accident soon, if you are, hopefully you remember some of the tips I share on this website.

The Do's and Don'ts After a Car Accident

What Happens If You're Involved In An Accident With A Fire Truck?

Yvonne Russell

Firefighters leap into action to save the lives of those who are in danger. Despite being under intense pressure to arrive at the scene as quickly as possible, firefighters do their best to avoid putting other motorists in danger when responding to a call. Nevertheless, accidents do happen.

Factors That Can Contribute to a Fire Truck Accident

  • Failure to pull aside when a fire truck approaches - This usually happens when drivers aren't able to see or hear the fire truck, making them more likely to be involved in a collision with one.
  • Distracted driving caused by spectating an accident scene - Gawking or rubbernecking has caused many an accident, especially with emergency vehicles parked along the side of the scene.
  • Intoxicated driving - Being under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or other controlled substances can also play a significant role in a fire truck accident.

There are also several factors on the fire company's part that could contribute to an accident:

  • Driver fatigue - Long shifts and multiple calls can leave drivers fatigued, which could result in poor reaction times and decision making.
  • Reckless driving - Firefighters who take too many risks behind the wheel while responding to a call are more likely to be involved in a collision.
  • Unsecured equipment - Improper storage can cause an unsecured ladder, hose or other piece of equipment to come loose and strike other vehicles.

Are You Considered At Fault?

As a law-abiding motorist, you are required to yield to emergency vehicles that are responding to a call with lights and/or siren in action. But that doesn't mean you'll automatically be considered at fault if you're in an accident with a fire truck. Your level of fault depends on the circumstances of the accident, as well as any and all evidence collected at the scene. If the firefighter contributed significantly to the accident by ignoring departmental protocol or safety statutes, that reduces your likelihood of being found at fault.

The Issue of Sovereign Immunity

One unique issue that pops up after accidents involving emergency vehicles is that of sovereign immunity. Sovereign immunity laws essentially protect firefighters, law enforcement officials and other government officials from lawsuits under most circumstances. These laws can make it rather difficult to pursue a valid personal injury claim against the firefighters responsible for causing or contributing to the accident.

Sovereign immunity laws tend to vary from state to state, so it's always a good idea to review the appropriate state statutes concerning the practice with your personal injury attorney. In some cases where extreme negligence was practiced, some courts may dispense with sovereign immunity and allow a claim to be brought forth.

Contact a firm like Spesia & Ayers Attorneys At Law to learn more about your options.