What Happens if You Get Into an Accident with an Emergency Vehicle? | Staver
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What Happens if You Get Into an Accident with an Emergency Vehicle?

Written by Jared Staver

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Jared Staver is a Personal Injury Lawyer based in Chicago, Illinois and has been practicing law for over 20 years.

Jared Staver

CATEGORY: Auto Accidents, Personal Injury

Emergency vehicles such as ambulances, fire trucks, and police cars must respond quickly to accidents and other emergencies. To do so, they often drive at high speeds and bypass some traffic rules such as stop signs. Sometimes, emergency responders fail to adhere to their training and cause injuries to innocent people when driving.

Unfortunately, dozens of accidents with emergency vehicles occur every year. According to the National Safety Council, 180 people died in crashes involving emergency vehicles in 2020. Around 80% of the fatalities were pedestrians and occupants of non-emergency vehicles.

You may wonder who is responsible for damages in the event of an accident with an emergency vehicle. If an emergency vehicle driver’s negligence left you injured, reach out to the Chicago car accident lawyers at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. We have experience helping clients who have been injured in accidents with emergency vehicles recover compensation.

Can Emergency Responders Be Sued after an Accident?

Recovering compensation after an accident caused by an emergency responder can be challenging. Under Illinois’s EMS Act, emergency responders are granted immunity from civil liability, except in cases of willful and wanton misconduct.

However, this does not mean you can’t seek recourse after an accident with an emergency vehicle. If the emergency vehicle driver was distracted or willfully disregarded the safety of others, they may be held liable for accidents they cause. But each case is unique — it’s essential to discuss your case with a car accident lawyer to explore your options.

What to Do if You’re in an Accident with an Emergency Vehicle in Chicago

Although you may worry about who will pay for your damages after an accident with an ambulance, fire truck, or other emergency vehicles you should react the same way you would after an accident with any vehicle:

  • Pull over to a safe place and check for injuries.
  • Call 911 if necessary and report the accident to the police.
  • Take photos and videos of the accident scene.
  • If any witnesses saw the accident, ask for their contact information.
  • Reach out to a car accident lawyer to discuss your options.
  • Report the accident to your insurance company.

Determining liability in emergency vehicle accidents can be complex. The sooner you contact an attorney, the more time they have to review your case and increase your chances of recovering compensation.

Avoiding Accidents with Emergency Vehicles

While some accidents may be unavoidable, you can take a few steps to protect yourself and minimize damage if a crash occurs. In fact, an Illinois law known as Scott’s Law requires drivers to follow specific rules on the road when an emergency vehicle is nearby. When drivers near a stationary emergency vehicle with flashing lights, they must:

  • Slow down
  • Drive with caution
  • Move to another lane, or reduce speed if changing lanes is unsafe

If an emergency vehicle approaches on the road with sirens and warning lights flashing, drivers must immediately pull over to the right side of the road and wait for it to pass. Drivers who violate these laws could face a fine of up to $10,000 and a license suspension if the violation caused property damage.

Contact a Chicago Car Accident Lawyer for Help

If an accident with an emergency vehicle injured you or a loved one, contact a dedicated Chicago car accident lawyer. Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C., can conduct a thorough investigation and gather evidence to prove that the negligence of the emergency vehicle driver caused your injury.

We can fight for your compensation on your behalf to cover your medical bills, vehicle damage, and more. Contact Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. at (312) 236-2900 to schedule a consultation today.

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(312) 236-2900
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