Fire truck crashes are more common than you might think and have risen over the past few years. On average, there are 2,500 fire truck accidents each year in the United States. Nearly 1,100 people were injured or killed in a fire truck accident in 2011. Collisions with other vehicles can be disastrous due to the fire truck’s large size. Factors such as speeding, failure to follow rules, and improperly utilized fire truck equipment can all cause an accident. When that happens, victims of fire truck accidents are faced with whether or not they can hold a fire department liable.
Challenges of Fire Truck OperationFire truck drivers are challenged with balancing safety and speed. Though fire apparatus operators have certain legal exemptions when responding to an emergency, they can still be held liable for what they did or did not do in the events leading up to an accident.
Take a look at certain “musts” for emergency vehicle drivers:
- They must give adequate notice of approach
- They must strategically navigate traffic flow
- They must carefully proceed through intersections
Who Is Liable in These Accidents?
While emergency vehicle operators have the right to speed and go against traffic in order to quickly respond to an emergency, they must do it as strategically and safely as possible. A well-trained emergency vehicle driver can often maintain the safety of the road better than an inadequately prepared fire truck driver. Human error is a huge factor in the majority of these accidents.
In addition, fire departments won't always admit to fault. One Washington D.C. fire department spokesperson said, "We don't get much help from the motorists out there. They're racing the fire trucks, trying to beat them to the intersection. In moving traffic situations, overwhelmingly the reason the accidents occur are because of the civilian motorists." As unfortunate as it is, many accidents do occur because of civilian mistakes. It can be difficult to prove that your case was an exception, unless you have the investigative help of a skilled lawyer. It is important to remember that even a fire truck driver can be held liable for a collision, which is why having a seasoned advocate to hold them accountable can be crucial.
Fight for Your Rights with a Houston Truck Accident Attorney!
A truck accident attorney from Arnold & Itkin can help you determine whether negligence was involved in your accident and whether or not you can hold the city, a union, the truck manufacturer, or the fire department responsible. Since different laws and regulations govern emergency vehicles, it is good to consult a knowledgeable truck accident lawyer who can thoroughly investigate the circumstances surrounding your accident and pursue compensation.
For a free case evaluation, contact us today!