Most drivers understand they have a duty to operate the vehicle in a reasonable
and prudent manner so that other people on the road are not injured by
inappropriate vehicle operation. Experienced Newburgh car accident attorneys
know that if a motorist breaches this duty and the breach causes someone
injury, then the injured party can recover compensation in a court of
law for their damages. But what most drivers do not realize is this allow
applies to emergency vehicles such as ambulances, fire trucks, police
vehicles, and other similar emergency vehicles.
You may also know that part of the motorist’s duty is to see what
there is to be seen and in some cases, drivers must hear what there is
to be heard. One thing that motorists may be expected to hear is the sound
of emergency vehicle sirens. Motorists, who fail to hear sirens and as
a result cause a collision, may be negligent in the operation of a vehicle.
However, some collisions with emergency vehicles can be attributed to
the negligence of the first responder driving the emergency vehicle.
Yielding the right of way to emergency vehicles is something all drivers
are taught. The law, however, dictates rules that first responders must
follow when operating emergency vehicles. Consider Section 1104 of the
New York Vehicle and Traffic Law. While this statute exempts emergency
vehicles from various stopping, standing, parking and speeding regulations,
the exemption is not absolute.
Subsection (e) of Section 1104 states:
“The foregoing provisions [of section 1104] shall not relieve the
driver of an authorized emergency vehicle from the duty to drive with
due regard for the safety of all persons, nor shall such provisions protect
the driver from the consequences of his reckless disregard for the safety
Moreover, subsection (f) states that during emergencies ambulances can
use all roads unless,
“. . . an authority having jurisdiction over any such highway, street
or roadway . . . specifically prohibit[s] travel thereon by ambulances
if such authority shall deem such travel to be extremely hazardous and
would endanger patients being transported thereby.”
Therefore, ambulances must slow down at intersections, whenever necessary,
and whenever it is reasonable to protect the safety of others. Of course,
the emergency vehicle’s lights and sirens must be engaged so that
others are warned of the potential danger.
An experienced Newburgh car accident attorney understands what is “reasonable”
and “necessary” under the circumstances surrounding an accident
involving emergency vehicles. While these words are part of everyone’s
lexicon, they also have very specific legal meanings and ramifications.
You should never feel that your collision with an emergency vehicle, and
the injuries you have suffered there from, are exempt from civil recovery.
Our attorneys will examine the facts of your case and attempt to get compensation
for your damages.
Visit our latest article here covering these details here and return each
day this week for more information. Also look through our blog for similar
posts this week regarding your duty to see what there is to be seen with
the proper use of your senses available at our blog here, when the driver
does not see you and what to do if you were hit by a car, and what to
do when the driver’s view was obstructed or impaired.
Our car accident attorneys at Mainetti, Mainetti, and O’Connor, P.C.
have over 100 years of combined experience working with victims of personal
injury accidents throughout New York. We understand how to effectively
represent clients who have been injured in serious personal injury accidents,
particularly throughout the Mid-Hudson Valley region in Kingston, Poughkeepsie,
and Newburgh where we have offices. Hear
what our clients are saying about us here and learn about just some of our
successful results here. If you or a loved one has been injured in a personal injury accident,
please do not hesitate to contact us by calling 845-340-HURT (4878) or
toll free at 866-440-4452, or by using the
convenient contact form here.