What Happens When An Emergency Vehicle Causes A Car Accident?

Many car accidents are caused by drivers who are simply negligent in their road responsibilities. Normally, negligent drivers are everyday citizens, and a personal injury claim may be filed against them if they cause a car accident that results in injuries to another person. But what happens when the negligent driver is operating an emergency vehicle such as an ambulance?

Ambulance Driver Responsible For Car Accident

Unfortunately, a car accident in St. Charles Parish occurred under these very circumstances. According to an article from NOLA.com, an ambulance operator, Brian Baio, was "responding to a medical call" when he "drifted into the left turn lane." The ambulance rear-ended a car waiting to turn, and pushed the vehicle into the path of a 66-year-old woman identified as Marva Jackson. Jackson died as a result of the three-car crash. A mother and toddler were also injured in the crash.

Even though Baio was operating an emergency vehicle, he will still be held responsible for the accident. Preliminary reports suggest that he will not only be at fault civil liabilities, but he may "face criminal charges of negligent homicide and negligent injury." These are serious charges that can result in prison time for the at-fault driver, especially because defendants found guilty of negligent homicide charges connected to car accidents tend to receive harsher sentencing.

There are factors that complicate these accidents. Even though the ambulance driver may have been traveling too fast and caused the accident, mistakes on behalf of the other drivers are factors for consideration. For example, Jackson was not wearing her seatbelt at the time of the crash, which could have contributed to her death. Police also state that the car seat "may not have been properly installed." These are factors that will affect both civil and criminal cases.

There Is Recourse For Emergency Vehicle Accident Victims

If you have been hurt in a car accident involving an emergency vehicle, you may still be able to pursue a personal injury case to receive compensation. However, as is true of the above case, there are additional challenges associated with these cases: emergency vehicles travel at higher speeds, they have certain protections, and they have specific traffic laws that apply only to them. You will need an experienced attorney like James Arruebarrena on your side who understands the unique challenges in these cases.