Drivers are required to move over for emergency vehicles or slow down, as required by federal law. Failure to do so can result in a fine and added points to driver’s licenses. Most drivers can safely clear the way, but sometimes, it is not always possible. Emergency vehicle accidents can cause severe injury, but who is held liable in these situations?
If you were recently injured in an emergency vehicle accident, a Florida personal injury trial lawyer may be able to help.
First responders have a high level of responsibility to respond quickly and carefully to emergency situations. Florida law does give emergency vehicles some leniency in traffic laws. They can bypass red lights and stop signs if they are careful in doing so. Emergency vehicles are not prohibited from going past the speed limit if they do not endanger the life or property of others. They are allowed to bypass some regulations for turning if life and property of others are not endangered.
However, they cannot have total jurisdiction to disregard the safety of others while operating vehicles. If an emergency vehicle hits another driver, the driver of the non-emergency vehicle may have a legal claim if they can prove negligence. In this case, negligence would include failure to slow down while passing red lights and stop signs or exceeding speed limits in manners that endangered property or life.
Even if you were partially responsible for an accident, you may still be able to receive compensation. The Florida comparative fault rule would allow the injured party to collect compensation even if they contributed to the accident. However, award amounts may be reduced according to their degree of fault.