Can I Recover Damages If I Am Hit by a Speeding Emergency Vehicle?
If you regularly watch the news, you have undoubtedly viewed scenes where police cars are pursuing a motorist in a high speed chase while weaving through traffic. Alternatively, you probably have had an ambulance or fire truck speed past you before blowing through a stop sign with its lights and siren activated. Georgia law permits drivers of emergency vehicles to violate traffic safety laws under certain circumstances in the performance of their duties. Predictably, emergency vehicles sometimes collide with innocent motorists. Given that the emergency vehicle frequently is moving at a high rate of speed, it is probably not surprising that the occupants in the other vehicle may suffer severe injury. The injured party might incur significant medical bills and time off work, so the liability of the government entity becomes an important question in determining whether the victim is entitled to compensation.
While O.C.G.A. § 40-6-6 authorizes drivers of emergency vehicles to disregard traffic rules, the law does not provide carte blanche permission to drive in a reckless or dangerous manner. For example, the driver of an ambulance responding to an emergency call can violate the speed limit, but the vehicle's lights and siren must be engaged. The driver must also exercise "due regard" for the safety of vehicle occupants in other cars and trucks on the road with the ambulance, bicyclists, pedestrians, and others who share the roadway.
Sadly, sometimes serious motor vehicle accidents do occur when the driver of an emergency vehicle does not adhere to these standards when disregarding traffic laws. When a fire truck T-bones another vehicle when blowing through a stop sign without the fire truck's lights and siren activated or without exercising due care, the public entity that employs the emergency responder can be liable for collision-related injuries or fatalities. If you or a loved one has been injured or a family member has died in a collision involving an emergency vehicle, our experienced Atlanta motor vehicle accident attorneys can provide you with a free consultation concerning your legal rights to compensation from the responsible government entity, and any other parties that may be liable.
Put Our Law Firm's Over 35 Years of Legal Experience to Work For Your Case
Our attorneys at Montlick & Associates have been representing those who suffer serious injuries throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast for more than thirty years, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins, and 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 also can visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.