Emergency Vehicle Accident Lawyers in Augusta
If you sustained injuries in an accident involving an ambulance, fire truck, or police car, you might be entitled to compensation. The emergency vehicle accident lawyers of Chris Hudson Law Group in Augusta, GA know how to investigate cases like yours and hold negligent drivers liable for their wrongdoing.
Anyone driving an emergency vehicle knows they must follow traffic laws just like any other driver. However, they’re allowed to break specific rules if they’re responding to an emergency. This could place the occupants of other vehicles at risk of serious harm. Even if the police officer or EMT uses their lights and sirens to proceed through a red light, they might not see someone already in the intersection and cause a collision.
Emergency vehicles can cause deadly accidents and expensive property damage. The occupants of passenger cars often suffer the most during collisions with these vehicles. Their bodies can’t handle the violent impact of a fire truck or ambulance against their significantly smaller vehicle. Traumatic brain injury, permanent disability, and death are common.
The emergency vehicle accident attorneys of Chris Hudson Law Group are ready to take your call and help you get on the road to recovery. Contact us at (706) 863-6600 for your free consultation and learn more about the services we provide.
Common Types of Emergency Vehicles
Emergency personnel must respond promptly when someone’s life is in danger. However, operating a police cruiser, fire engine, or ambulance doesn’t mean these drivers can behave negligently. They must take great care in maneuvering around other vehicles, so no one gets hurt. As long as they’re using their lights and sirens, they don’t have to yield to others but must thoroughly check for any cars or pedestrians in their path before proceeding.
Crashes involving emergency vehicles can happen if the driver isn’t paying attention to where they’re going or makes a dangerous mistake at the wheel. Severe injuries and fatalities can result from an accident between one of these vehicles and a passenger car.
Emergency vehicles commonly found in Augusta are:
- Fire engines
- Police cars and trucks
Any vehicle used for emergency purposes must display clear markings. Drivers should turn on their flashing lights and sirens to indicate to other motorists that they’re approaching and need a clear path to get to their destination. Running a stop sign or breaking another traffic law while their lights and sirens are off means that they could be held liable if an accident occurs.
Common Reasons for Accidents with Emergency Vehicles
Georgia residents rely on police officers to maintain a safe community and protect them from potential threats. If they suffer injuries, they rely on EMTs to drive them in an ambulance to a nearby hospital for medical care. Emergency vehicle drivers face pressure to make split-second decisions to save lives while avoiding causing injuries to others. They’re racing against the clock and every second counts.
Even though emergency personnel train for dangerous situations and have a thorough knowledge of responding to emergencies, they could make errors that lead to devastating collisions. They might encounter an obstacle they never had to deal with before and use their judgment to decide how to handle it. The wrong decision could place other people in danger.
For example, members of law enforcement understand the importance of catching dangerous criminals. If they’re chasing a homicidal maniac, they can’t allow anything to get in their way. However, running a red light increases the risk of an accident if a pedestrian or another vehicle is already in the intersection.
The pressures and demands emergency personnel face every day lead to a constant sense of urgency. An ambulance driver has to speed to save someone’s life but must remain cautious under certain circumstances so no one else gets hurt.
Some of the most common negligent behaviors that can lead to accidents caused by emergency vehicle drivers are:
- Unsafe lane changes
- Failing to use sirens and lights
- Failing to check for oncoming vehicles before proceeding through intersections
- Driving too fast for adverse weather or road conditions
- Driver fatigue
- Reckless driving
- Alcohol or drug impairment
If one of these factors or something else resulted in a crash involving an emergency vehicle driver and you got injured, you would need a qualified Augusta emergency vehicle accident attorney from Chris Hudson Law Group to represent you. You should contact us immediately after the collision so we can begin investigating right away. Waiting too long before pursuing a case against the at-fault driver could diminish your financial award or cause the insurance company to deny your claim entirely.
Filing a Claim Against a Government Employee
Georgia follows a fault system regarding financial responsibility after an accident. That means the at-fault driver automatically becomes liable for the victim’s injuries and losses. Unfortunately, sovereign immunity could complicate your rights to compensation. It protects government entities from accepting liability for their employee’s negligent actions.
However, Georgia Code 50-21-23 could waive sovereign immunity for an accident involving an ambulance, police car, or fire truck. As long as the government employee was performing their job duties at the time of the crash and they would become liable if they were a private individual or entity, you would be entitled to file a claim against them.
Seeking compensation from governmental entities can be confusing and complicated to handle. There are strict deadlines, state laws, and procedures you must follow. If you’re unfamiliar with the process, you could end up losing your case if you try to handle it alone. That’s why it’s critical that you consult an experienced Augusta emergency vehicle accident attorney immediately after the collision.
At Chris Hudson Law Group, we understand what’s at stake and will use our knowledge of cases involving the government to file your claim on time and provide adequate evidence to prove liability. If your claim is against the state, we must provide the entity with written notice of our claim within twelve months of the accident date. The notice must include specific details, such as the name of the governmental entity, the negligent act that caused your injuries, and other information regarding the circumstances of your case. We can investigate and determine whether we need to file a claim with a state or local entity and the type of evidence we need to provide. The timelines for local entities may be different than those for the state.
If the emergency vehicle driver’s insurance company denies your claim or offers an insignificant settlement amount, we could move forward with a lawsuit. Governmental entities don’t enforce their own deadlines when it comes to civil lawsuits. We would need to comply with the statute of limitations for personal injury cases. Georgia has a two-year statute of limitations, meaning you only have two years from the accident date to sue the negligent driver for compensation.
Possible Compensation Recoverable After an Emergency Vehicle Accident
Many people suffer losses when they’re involved in an accident with other vehicles. Fire trucks and ambulances can cause serious injuries to the occupants of small cars. If you require emergency medical care or ongoing treatment to heal your injuries, you will incur various costs. You might also have suffered significant emotional or psychological damage from the crash. These are examples of losses you can pursue in an insurance claim or lawsuit.
When you’re pursuing a case against a governmental entity in Georgia, your available losses might include:
- Lost wages
- Lost future earnings
- Mental anguish
- Physical impairment or disfigurement
- Medical expenses
- Diminished quality of life
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
It’s often a challenge for emergency vehicle accident attorneys to calculate the appropriate monetary value of a client’s case. Intangible losses, such as pain and suffering, don’t come with an invoice or receipt. Determining a number that could compensate for something like that isn’t easy.
While Chris Hudson Law Group is calculating the full and fair compensation you deserve, we might consider some of these contributing factors:
- Duration of medically necessary treatment
- Type and severity of the injury
- Emotional or psychological effects of the crash
- Length of time it takes to recover
- Total costs associated with the case
- Time missed from work due to the injury
- Mental or physical disability requiring future medical care or assistance
- The estimated cost of ongoing treatment for permanent injuries
- Amount of insurance coverage from the governmental entity’s policy
- Effects of the accident on quality of life
- Availability of substantial evidence proving who was at fault
Our legal team knows the importance of securing the highest possible insurance settlement or a favorable jury verdict. We will work hard to try to achieve your goals and meet your interests. You won’t be alone during this traumatic experience.
Contact The Chris Hudson Law Group in Augusta to Help You Fight for Justice
Our award-winning truck accident lawyers are well-versed in a wide variety of accidents with large vehicles, including accidents with emergency vehicles. They provide personalized attention to every client that hires us. You and your case will be our priority as we’re seeking compensation from the at-fault driver. You can depend on us to be your advocate and remain in your corner until the end.
If an emergency vehicle driver caused your injuries in a crash, contact Chris Hudson Law Group immediately for a free consultation. We can discuss the circumstances of the case and determine your legal options for holding the negligent party liable for the harm they caused.