Emergency Vehicle Accidents
Emergency vehicles are used to drive to the scenes of accidents, fires, and crimes. They are essential to enable first responders to answer emergency calls as soon as possible. Although emergency vehicles play an integral role in upholding the safety and health of society, they also pose a risk of harm to other people on the road, due in part to the high rates of speed at which they travel. If you were harmed in an emergency vehicle accident, you should find out whether you may be owed compensation. New Orleans car accident lawyer Cliff Cardone at the Cardone Law Firm will fight for all the compensation to which you are entitled.Proving Liability Following an Emergency Vehicle Accident
In most lawsuits arising out of emergency vehicle collisions, the plaintiff, who is the person injured in the accident, will assert that the defendant’s negligence caused the accident. To prove that a person or entity was negligent, a plaintiff must show that the defendant owed a duty to the plaintiff and that the defendant’s acts or failure to act amounted to a breach of the duty. The plaintiff must then show that the breach of the duty caused the plaintiff to suffer actual harm. In other words, the plaintiff must show that, without the breach, he or she would not have been injured.Duties Regarding Emergency Vehicles
Generally, the duty imposed on a defendant is the duty to act with reasonable care under the circumstances, but in cases involving emergency vehicles, the duty owed may vary depending on the conditions out of which the accident arose. Under Louisiana law, emergency vehicle drivers may deviate from the rules set forth under the motor vehicle code in certain situations. Specifically, when a driver of an emergency vehicle is responding to a call, he or she may go through a red light or stop sign without stopping, drive over the posted speed limit, and disregard rules regarding turning in certain directions. The exceptions only apply when an emergency vehicle has its lights and sirens activated, however.
Although the law permits emergency vehicle drivers to diverge from some of the obligations imposed on drivers, their rights are not without limits. Emergency vehicle drivers must still refrain from driving at speeds that endanger people and must stop when it is needed to operate the vehicle safely. Additionally, drivers are not permitted to operate emergency vehicles in a manner that would constitute a reckless disregard for another person's safety.
Drivers of passenger vehicles have duties when they encounter an emergency vehicle as well. Specifically, when a driver notices an approaching emergency vehicle with its lights or sirens activated, the driver must pull to the right side of the road and stop until the vehicle has passed. When approaching a parked emergency vehicle on the highway, a driver must change lanes if possible, and if it is not, the driver must slow down to a safe speed under the circumstances.
In most cases, the driver of the emergency vehicle and possibly his or her employer will be the defendants in the lawsuit, while the plaintiff will be someone in another vehicle who was injured in the accident. Thus, in many cases, the defendant will argue that the plaintiff breached his or her duty and that the plaintiff's breach caused the accident. Even if a plaintiff is found to be partially at fault for causing an accident, though, he or she may still recover damages under Louisiana law. Any damages awarded will be reduced in proportion to the percentage of fault attributed to the plaintiff.Meet with a Trusted New Orleans Attorney
If you sustained injuries in an emergency vehicle accident, you should contact a skillful attorney to discuss the claims that you may be able to assert to seek damages. Attorney Cliff Cardone is a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer who will tirelessly pursue any compensation that you may be owed for your injuries. Mr. Cardone regularly represents people in lawsuits in New Orleans and throughout Louisiana. PHONE CARDONE. He can be contacted via the online form, at 504-522-3333, or at 1-888-89-CARDONE to set up a confidential and free meeting regarding your accident.