In a recent Texas car accident, the driver of a passenger vehicle collided with an ambulance operated by the San Antonio Fire Department, resulting in injuries to the patient who was being transported. Accidents involving ambulances and other emergency vehicles are somewhat frequent, and they can result in serious injuries to both occupants of the emergency vehicle and the other vehicles involved. It is often possible for injury victims to recover compensation for damages, but these cases can be especially complicated.
The Complexities of Liability in an Emergency Vehicle Accident
The process of obtaining compensation for injuries in an emergency vehicle crash can vary substantially depending on who is responsible for the accident. If the occupant of an ambulance is injured and the driver of another vehicle is found to be at fault, the personal injury claim may proceed similarly to how it would in an accident between passenger vehicles. It will be important for the victim to have evidence of the other driver’s negligence, perhaps due to a failure to yield to the emergency vehicle, or other unsafe behavior such as speeding, drunk driving, or distracted driving.
However, the case will likely be more complicated if the victim had pre-existing injuries before the crash (hence the need for an ambulance). It may be important to document new injuries from the crash, as well as injuries that were exacerbated by the crash. A personal injury claim could also potentially seek damages for a delay in necessary emergency treatment caused by the crash.
If the crash was caused by the driver of the emergency vehicle, there may be additional obstacles to recovering compensation due to the Texas Tort Claims Act, which provides protection for governmental units, including state and local emergency services, when they are responsible for injuries due to actions taken in the course of their duties. If an injury victim intends to file a claim against a governmental unit, they will need to provide notice within six months of the accident, which is notably less time than the typical 2-year statute of limitations for Texas personal injury claims. Additionally, compensation may only be possible if the victim can demonstrate that the actions of the emergency vehicle driver constitute “conscious indifference or reckless disregard for the safety of others.”
Contact a New Braunfels Personal Injury Attorney
It can be difficult to know how to proceed if you have been injured in an accident with an emergency vehicle. However, at The Bettersworth Law Firm, we have the experience to advise you on possible pathways to compensation and represent you throughout your claim. Call a New Braunfels, TX car crash lawyer for a free consultation today at 830-443-9193.