First responders have a stressful job speeding en route to make it to a car accident. Most drivers have been around an emergency vehicle as it races to a scene with its sirens blaring. Montana law states that pedestrians and vehicles need to yield to authorized emergency vehicles with visual & audible signals. Sometimes it’s easy to pull over and make room for them, but in other situations where visibility is an issue- such as crossing an intersection or making a turn, it’s a lot more complex.
At first blush, one might assume that auto accidents with an emergency vehicle are rare. However, the data might surprise you. Fire trucks alone are involved in 30,000 car accidents per year in the United States. Just this past June, six people died after a two-vehicle crash between a pickup truck and a fire truck on Highway 12 near Three Forks, Montana.
While we hope you never find yourself in an auto accident with an emergency vehicle, the Montana car accident attorneys at Hoyt & Blewett are here to ensure that you are properly represented and that you receive any compensation that you may be entitled to. We have represented car accident claimants from cities around Montana including Great Falls, Billings & Missoula.
If you have been in an accident with an emergency vehicle, you may be able to claim compensation if it can be proven that the auto accident occurred due to the fault of another driver or some other contributing factor. Emergency drivers must proceed with caution if they plan to proceed through a red traffic light. They must yield to unaware pedestrians and be careful of oncoming traffic that has a green light and may not be aware of the emergency vehicle’s exact location. These rules also apply to an emergency vehicle travelling on the wrong side of the road.
Finally, emergency vehicles are only able to break with standard driving protocol when they are called to an emergency; their visual and audible signals must be engaged. If these criteria are not met, then any emergency vehicle must obey all of the standard rules of the road. If an emergency vehicle driver was using their sirens incorrectly or if they were not engaged, and they caused a car accident when driving through a red light, then they can be held liable.
If you have been injured in an accident with an emergency vehicle, contact the auto accident attorneys at Hoyt & Blewett to learn more about your options.