Fatal Ambulance Accident Reminds of Dangers Associated with Emergency Medical Responses
While we typically associate ambulances with life-saving emergency medical responses, drivers of ambulances also routinely drive in ways that can lead to collisions, such as disregarding traffic signs and signals, speeding and engaging in other potentially hazardous driving maneuvers. The USA Today report of a recent fatal ambulance accident in Ocilla, Georgia poses a tragic reminder.
The ambulance had its lights and siren in use when it collided with a semi-truck, killing both medics and the patient on board according to the USA Today article detailing the Georgia ambulance accident. The ambulance crashed into the semi-truck which had jack-knifed across the center line into the direct path of the ambulance. The emergency response vehicle struck the left side of the big-rig according to the article.
While you may assume that the risk of being injured in a crash involving an ambulance is extremely remote, these collisions are more common than many people realize. According to the Fire Protection Research Association (FPRA), there are about 250 ambulances involved in collisions that result in injury and/or property damage annually across the U.S. each year. However, the FPRA report that summarized this data also points out that the numbers are probably significantly understated because of disparities between states in terms of how emergency medical services crash data is gathered and reported.
When ambulances are dispatched to the scene of an emergency like a car crash or other medical emergency, the speed of the ambulance when responding and transporting a patient to a medical facility involves inherent dangers. Although an ambulance may use its lights and siren to warn other motorists of its presence, other drivers may disregard these warnings or fail to move out of the way placing the occupants of other vehicles, pedestrians and those in the ambulance in danger. Further, the emergency personnel driving the ambulance must comply with certain procedures and safety practices to reduce the risk of a collision when responding to a call.
If you are injured in an ambulance crash as a patient being transported or other motorist, bicyclist or pedestrian, you may have a legal claim for financial compensation. Depending on the specific facts or circumstances of your situation, there are a number of parties that may be liable for such a collision, including the ambulance driver, ambulance company, driver of another vehicle, a bar or host that serves alchol to a driver who is intoxicated, a public entity that contracts with the ambulance company or others. These cases can turn on very subtle differences in the facts so it is important to seek legal advice promptly from an Atlanta car accident lawyer.
If you are injured or a loved one dies in an ambulance accident or other motor vehicle crash in Georgia, our Atlanta car wreck attorneys at Montlick and Associates are available to provide effective legal representation to those throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including all smaller cities and rural areas in the state.
No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.