The Dangers of Car Accidents Involving Fire Trucks
It is common to see a fire truck at a car accident scene. But while people generally imagine fire trucks coming to the aid of accident victims, sometimes they are part of the accident themselves. When a fire truck is involved in a car accident, the results can be catastrophic, or deadly. Fire trucks can weigh as much as a commercial truck, which is why they pose such a threat in an accident.
Car accident lawyers at Chanfrau & Chanfrau understand the damages that fire truck accidents can cause. They are prepared to help accident victims from Daytona Beach, FL, Palm Coast, FL, and surrounding areas consider their legal right to financial compensation if they are injured in a fire truck accident that was not their fault.
Causes of Fire Truck Accidents
As with any other type of collision, the causes of a fire truck accident are varied. However, fire trucks have unique duties that can increase the risk of a collision. When a fire truck is responding to an emergency, it is likely to be traveling at high speeds. Unfortunately, motorists do not always respond appropriately when they are around a fire truck traveling at high speeds, and fire truck drivers do not always take necessary precautions either.
Some of the most common causes of fire truck accidents include:
- A failure to pull over and make way for a fire truck using lights and sirens
- Slowing down to observe the scene of an accident/emergency
- Fire truck driver error/recklessness (i.e. driving while fatigued, driving under the influence, failure to observe traffic signs or look out for cross traffic)
- Vehicle failure and/or defective parts
Fire Truck Accident Damages
Fire trucks are significantly larger than passenger vehicles, often weighing around the same as a commercial truck. The weight of a fire truck, along with the fact that they are often traveling at high speeds at the time of a collision, results in a significant accident impact - one that can cause severe property damage, catastrophic injuries, or death.
In March 2021, Firefighter Nation reported there was a deadly fire truck accident in Daytona Beach. A driver was pulling out of a parking lot and struck an oncoming fire truck. The collision caused the fire truck to overturn. All occupants of the fire truck were able to evacuate the vehicle and suffered just minor injuries, but the driver of the passenger vehicle was pronounced dead at a local hospital.
Can I Sue if a Fire Truck Accident Was Not My Fault?
When someone is injured in a car accident that is caused by another person or party, they have the right to sue for financial compensation for damages. However, accidents involving fire trucks are a little different, because it often means going after the city who operates the fire department.
In fire truck accidents, sovereign immunity comes into play. Sovereign immunity essentially prohibits someone from suing the government (such as a city), unless the government allows it. That being said, if a fire truck driver is at-fault for an accident, that doesn’t mean that accident victims have no legal recourse.
The government may make an exception to allow a lawsuit when an emergency vehicle is involved in an accident, especially if the fire truck driver was blatantly reckless. The attorneys at Chanfrau & Chanfrau can help victims explore their legal options and consider the best way for their clients to receive the compensation they are due for accident damages.
Contact Us with Your Questions
If you have been injured in an accident, the car accident lawyers at Chanfrau & Chanfrau would like to help you obtain compensation for your losses. To discuss your case with our legal team, send us a message online, or call our office at (386) 258-7313.