If you have been involved in an accident involving an emergency vehicle then you can make a compensation claim. It may seem ironic that an emergency vehicle on its way most probably to another accident can itself cause an incident, however it does happen.
Many people are under the misconception that a claim would be invalid, that the law would most certainly be in favor of the emergency vehicle. This is not true, emergency vehicles still have a duty of care when out on the road. What may come as more of a surprise, is that even if you are partially at fault for the accident occurring, you may still be entitled to make a personal injury compensation claim.
The main emergency service vehicles consist of ambulances, police cars, fire engines and paramedics. These vehicles do have certain privileges whilst out on the roads when using their flashing blue lights and sirens. However, they still have a duty of care to ensure the safety of other road users and pedestrians. They are not above the law. When going at speed traveling to an accident or an emergency, they have to follow procedure and take precautions to protect the safety of others on the road first and foremost. Moreover, if they are not on their way to an emergency and do not have their lights or sirens on, then they have to observe the rules of the road and traffic light signals just as other road users do.
The speed at which these vehicles travel can cause accidents that are extremely serious. Severe injuries can, not only impact physically on the victim but psychologically too. It can deeply affect the quality of life of the sufferers and their families, it can be devastating. Many people are reluctant to claim under these circumstances, thinking it is morally wrong in light of the fact that these services are in place to help people that are in trouble.
Although they are there to help people this does not mean they cannot be at fault, they still have an obligation not to endanger the lives of others. If a driver is negligent, then they are to blame. For example, they are allowed to go through a red traffic light however they are meant to treat this as a ‘give way’ sign and check the road before proceeding. The same applies at junctions. If they do not adhere to this then they are negligent.
In the Event of an Accident with an Emergency Vehicle What is the Correct Procedure?
If someone has suffered an injury, then, as usual, you would call for an ambulance and the police. If nobody is hurt then, as with other minor collisions you would obtain the driver's details, just as you would in the same situation with a normal vehicle.
After an accident with an emergency vehicle if possible obtain the names and addresses of any witnesses to the incident. If you are able to take photographs at the scene and afterward record any details you think may be important, for example, weather conditions at the time.