Emergency Vehicle Accidents
Were you injured in an accident involving an ambulance or police vehicle that struck your vehicle? If so, then contact an experienced personal injury attorney at Steiden Law Offices. An emergency vehicle can include an ambulance, fire engine, or law enforcement vehicle. An accident can occur regardless of whether the emergency vehicle is driving with the lights and sirens activated or not. When the emergency equipment is not being used, then the driver provides no warning to fellow travelers.
In some cases, the driver of the ambulance or emergency vehicle is not properly trained on:
- the use of the lights and siren;
- driving and operating the ambulance or police vehicle; or
- when it would be appropriate to exceed the speed limit or commit other traffic violations.
R.C. 4511.03 imposes a duty upon “[t]he driver of any emergency vehicle or public safety vehicle, when responding to an emergency call, upon approaching a red or stop signal or any stop sign [, to] slow down as necessary for safety to traffic [and to] * * * proceed cautiously past such red or stop sign or signal with due regard for the safety of all persons using the street or highway.”
If the driver of the vehicle fails to follow those rules and that negligence causes a crash, then the driver and their employer can be held liable for the damages that result from the crash. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you pursue justice in recovering money damages for your injuries.
Attorneys for Car Accidents Involving Emergency Vehicles in Ohio
In many of these cases, your personal injury attorney will hire an accident reconstruction expert to determine the speed each vehicle was traveling, the location of the crash, the cause of the accident, and other circumstances that might have caused the accident. Those circumstances can include an abrupt lane change, failure to maintain a lane, failure to stop at a stop sign, or running a red light.
The attorneys at Steiden Law Offices can help you file a civil lawsuit for personal injuries resulting from the collision when the driver is:
- negligent in the operation of the ambulance; and
- when the driver’s actions, conduct, and omissions constituted willful and wanton misconduct.
The company that owns the ambulance can also be held vicariously liable for its employee's actions and conduct. Call the personal injury attorneys at Steiden Law Offices in Cincinnati, OH, to discuss your case. Call (513) 888-8888.
Lawsuits Against a Political Subdivision in Ohio
R.C. 2744.02(A)(1) sets forth the general rule that a political subdivision is immune from tort liability for acts or omissions connected with governmental or proprietary functions.
The statute states:
“Except as provided in division (B) of this section, a political subdivision is not liable in damages in a civil action for injury, death, or loss to person or property allegedly caused by any act or omission of the political subdivision or an employee of the political subdivision in connection with a governmental or proprietary function.”
R.C. 2744.02(B)(1) sets forth an exception to the general rule of immunity, providing that “political subdivisions are labile for injury, death, or loss to persons or property caused by the negligent operation of any motor vehicle by their employees when the employees are engaged within the scope of their employment and authority.”
Finally, R.C. 2744.02(B)(1)(c) provides a political subdivision with a full defense to the liability imposed under R.C. 2744.02(B)(1) if the liability arose in connection with the negligent operation of a motor vehicle by “[a] member of an emergency medical service owned or operated by a political subdivision * * * while responding to or completing a call for emergency medical care or treatment, the member was holding a valid commercial driver's license issued pursuant to Chapter 4506. or a driver's license issued pursuant to Chapter 4507. of the Revised Code, the operation of the vehicle did not constitute willful or wanton misconduct, and the operation complie[d] with the precautions of section 4511.03 6 of the Revised Code.”
Immunity under R.C. Chapter 2744
R.C. 2744.03(A) prescribes defenses or immunities that an employee of a political subdivision may assert to establish nonliability in a civil action for damages allegedly caused by an act or omission in connection with a governmental or proprietary function. In some cases, an employee of a political subdivision is immune from liability unless the employee's acts or omissions were “with malicious purpose, in bad faith, or in a wanton or reckless manner[.]” R.C. 2744.03(A)(6)(b).
Finding a Personal Injury Attorneys for Accidents with Emergency Vehicles
After a motor vehicle accident caused by the negligence of the driver of an emergency vehicle, you can recover damages for your personal injuries. If the ambulance or police vehicle was operated by a driver operating within the scope of his employment, the employer of the driver can also be held liable.
When the driver of the ambulance or law enforcement vehicle negligently causes the crash, the issues in the case can include whether the driver was responding to or completing an emergency call at the time of the collision, whether the driver is a validly licensed driver, whether his operation of the vehicle constitutes willful misconduct, and whether the operation complied with R.C. 4511.03.
Steiden Law Offices represents the victims of car accidents throughout Southern Ohio and Northern Kentucky. Our firm has offices in Cincinnati and Mainesville, Ohio, as well as Covington and Florence, Kentucky.
Our caring and compassionate personal injury attorneys can review your case when you call (513) 888-8888 to schedule a free discussion.
This article was last updated on Friday, September 1, 2017.