Dallas Emergency Vehicle Accident Lawyers
Did you get hurt in a car accident? Did it involve an emergency vehicle, such as an ambulance? If so, contact the Dallas truck accident lawyers of The Benton Law Firm so we can determine who should be held liable for the injuries you sustained.
Firetrucks, police vehicles, and ambulances are vital to ensuring the safety of Dallas residents and visitors. You assume that they won’t or can’t cause anyone harm. However, the drivers are human just like everyone else and could make an error that leads to an accident. When that happens, you might wonder who can be held accountable for the negligent actions that caused the wreck.
At The Benton Law Firm, our team of Dallas emergency vehicle accident lawyers has the experience and resources to investigate your case and pursue the maximum compensation you deserve. You should not be responsible for your medical bills and other expenses when someone else was at fault for the crash.
If you want to learn about the legal services we provide or how we can help you seek justice for the suffering you endured, call The Benton Law Firm at (214) 777-7777 for a free consultation.
Types of Emergency Vehicles in Dallas
Although emergency personnel, such as police officers and EMTs, can disobey certain traffic laws, they must drive with extreme caution. When they approach an intersection with a red light facing their direction, most cars and trucks must stop and allow cross-traffic to proceed. However, an emergency vehicle can run a red light as long as their sirens and lights are on, and they check for oncoming cars before continuing through an intersection.
Unfortunately, an accident between a firetruck or ambulance and a passenger vehicle can result in severe injuries and fatalities. They are bigger and heavier than passenger vehicles, and collisions often occur at high speeds. The occupants of the smaller vehicle typically suffer more than the emergency personnel.
The most common types of emergency vehicles are:
- Fire trucks
- Police cars
These vehicles must display clear markings distinguishing them as emergency vehicles. They must have visible emergency lights and functioning sirens so other cars know that they’re approaching. If the emergency vehicle driver blows through a stop sign or turns left at a red light without using the appropriate signaling devices, they could be at fault for an accident that occurs.
Common Causes of Emergency Vehicle Accidents
People depend on law enforcement and EMTs to save their lives and protect them from danger. Imagine the pressure emergency personnel must feel every day. They must make a split-second decision during the most dangerous conditions to prevent casualties during adverse incidents. Unfortunately, the need for these workers to arrive on scene in a hurry can also contribute to accidents.
Highly trained professionals operate emergency vehicles and have the experience and knowledge to handle any obstacles they encounter. However, there are times when the situation requires a judgment call that the driver might not have faced before.
A police officer chasing after a violent criminal might need to run a red light, putting pedestrians at risk of harm. Someone driving an ambulance knows the consequences of even a one-minute delay getting to the house of someone having a heart attack.
These pressures and the urgent demand for emergency personnel mean drivers must proceed along the road as quickly as possible. They must arrive at their destination promptly to save lives. Unfortunately, this also means making decisions that could cause injury to other drivers and passengers.
Driver Error and Inattention
Whether you’re driving a fire truck or passenger vehicle, it’s crucial to focus on the task and hand and follow all traffic laws. Any error could lead to a devastating collision. The most common causes of emergency vehicle accidents are:
- Distracted driving
- Failing to use sirens and lights
- Speeding or reckless behavior
- Improper lane changes
- Entering an intersection without looking for other vehicles
- Driver fatigue
If any of these or another cause led to your injuries during a crash with an emergency vehicle, contact The Benton Law Firm immediately. Don’t wait to seek the legal representation you need to pursue the compensation you deserve. We can start working on your case and determine who should pay for the losses you suffered.
How to Hold the Government Liable for an Accident
Under normal circumstances, you could file an insurance claim if another driver caused an accident. However, the law differs when it comes to collisions involving emergency vehicles. Sovereign immunity protects government agencies and employees from liability. However, if you want to pursue compensation, you might be able to file a claim under the Texas Tort Claims Act.
This Act partially waives the immunity of a governmental unit and its employees. A governmental unit includes any organization or agency at the local or state level, such as:
It also includes political subdivisions of the state, such as:
- School districts
- Levee improvement districts
- Irrigation districts
- Junior college districts
- Drainage districts
You could hold a governmental unit liable under the Tort Claims Act if you suffered losses from a motor vehicle accident. However, two conditions must exist:
- The driver was in the course of their employment at the time of the crash; and
- They could be held liable if they were a private citizen.
Filing this type of claim can be a confusing and complicated process. You must file your claim with the correct governmental entity and provide notice of your claim within six months of the accident date. The notice limit might be shorter in certain municipalities. It’s best if you hire The Benton Law Firm so one of our Dallas emergency vehicle accident lawyers can handle each step of your claim and avoid common pitfalls accident victims face.
Possible Compensation Available After an Emergency Vehicle Accident
You probably suffered multiple losses if you sustained injuries in a collision with a fire truck, police car, or ambulance. You could seek compensation to cover these losses, so you’re not forced to pay out-of-pocket for anything.
The losses you could pursue in a claim or lawsuit are:
- Loss of household services
- Property damage
- Medical bills
- Physical impairment
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
Calculating the total cost of medical bills and other financial losses is pretty straightforward. You can refer to the billing statements, receipts, and invoices. However, determining the monetary value of intangible losses, such as pain and suffering, poses a bit of a challenge.
The Benton Law Firm knows the importance of receiving a financial award that adequately compensates you for your past and future losses. We will review the details of your case and come up with an appropriate number to demand from the at-fault party.
Some of the factors that might contribute to the final number are:
- The type and severity of the injury
- The availability of evidence proving the emergency vehicle driver caused the crash
- The amount of insurance coverage from the government entity
- The duration of your recovery period
- Your total medical expenses
- The estimated cost of possible medical treatment in the future
- Any mental or physical disability resulting from the injury
- The time you missed from work
- The effect of the accident on your daily life
You can depend on our legal team to thoroughly investigate your case and to account for all past and future losses when determining the financial award you need. We want to ensure you’re not left with any medical bills or other expenses while you’re treating your injuries.
Deadline to File a Lawsuit Against the Government
Assuming you submitted the appropriate notice of claim to the government entity, you could still file a lawsuit for the losses you suffered in the emergency vehicle accident. You must follow a strict timeframe known as a statute of limitations. Texas has a two-year statute of limitations, meaning you have two years from the crash date to initiate your legal case, or you could lose your right to compensation through the courts.
It might be possible to push back the deadline if at least one of these factors existed at the time of the accident:
- You were under 18 years old. The two-year statute would begin once you turn 18.
- You were of unsound mind. The clock wouldn’t start running unless you gain mental competency.
A qualified Dallas emergency vehicle accident lawyer can assist you with this process. If you’re eligible for an extended deadline, specific documentation must be filed with the court, which can be confusing without the help of an attorney.
At The Benton Law Firm, our legal team is available 24/7 to take your call whenever you need us. We provide dependable customer service to all of our clients no matter what. You will feel like a priority from start to finish of your case. We will remain in your corner and fight by your side for justice.
The Dallas emergency vehicle accident lawyers of The Benton Law Firm are ready to go to battle for you against the at-fault party that caused your injuries. You can count on us to provide the legal support, guidance, and services you need to get through this traumatic time in your life.
If you suffered injuries in a car accident with an ambulance, police car, or fire truck, call us at (214) 777-7777 for a free initial consultation.