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Wake County Emergency Vehicle Accident Injury Attorneys

Smithfield Emergency Vehicle Crash Lawyers

Lawyers in Raleigh, NC for Those Injured in Crashes Involving Police Cars, Ambulances, and Fire Trucks

At the Vasquez Law Firm, PLLC, we have the deepest respect for the brave men and women who serve their communities as first-responders in emergencies. Firefighters, police officers, paramedics, and emergency medical technicians (EMTs) put themselves at risk every day to make us all a little safer.

In order to facilitate prompt responses from first-responders, North Carolina law allows properly marked emergency vehicles a great deal of leeway when it comes to following the rules of the road. This means that emergency service vehicles are generally permitted to exceed the posted speed limit, go through red lights, and more while responding to an emergency. The drivers of such vehicles are also largely shielded from liability in the event of an accident. Depending on the situation, however, if you were injured in an accident caused by the driver of an emergency vehicle, you may have options for seeking compensation under the law.

What the Law Says

According to the law in North Carolina, posted speed limits do not apply to emergency vehicles on their way to deal with an emergency. Such vehicles are also permitted to go through traffic signals and stop signs, in most cases, without coming to a complete stop. For a typical private motorist, such driving behaviors would be considered negligent and would lead to liability for any injuries caused by a related accident. This is not the case for emergency vehicles. Instead, the driver of an emergency vehicle is simply required to operate the vehicle "with due regard for safety," including that of other drivers, pedestrians, cyclists, and anyone else in the vicinity.

These privileges apply to both government-owned vehicles, such as police cars and municipal firetrucks, as well as privately owned vehicles, such as some ambulances and county fire marshal vehicles. The law specifies, however, that the exemptions provided are not meant to protect the driver of an emergency vehicle from consequences related to his or her "reckless disregard for the safety of others."

Building Your Case in Johnston County

When you are involved in a crash with an emergency vehicle, it is easy to conclude that you have no recourse for collecting compensation. After all, the law is on the side of an emergency responder, right? While it is true that the law in North Carolina favors the driver of a police car, fire truck, or ambulance, you may still have options for collecting compensation. The key to your case is whether the driver was being reckless or not.

At the Vasquez Law Firm, PLLC, our skilled traffic accident lawyers will review the circumstances of your crash to determine what happened and if the emergency vehicle driver was acting in accordance with the law. If he or she was driving without the proper regard for safety, we will assist you in filing a claim seeking compensation. Our lawyers understand that recovering damages in an emergency vehicle accident can be extremely difficult, especially if the vehicle in question is a government vehicle. There are many detailed steps that must be followed to take legal action against a government entity, but we are equipped to help you do so.

Your case will also depend on your actions immediately prior to the accident. Under North Carolina's contributory negligence law, if your behavior contributed to the crash in any way, you are barred from recovering compensation. This means that if you were speeding, or you failed to yield the right of way to the approaching emergency vehicle, your case could be in serious jeopardy. Our lawyers will sit down with you to discuss the specifics of your case and assist you in making informed decisions about how to proceed.

Contact Our Firm Today

For more information about emergency vehicle accidents in North Carolina, contact our office. Call 1-844-YO-PELEO or 919-989-3000 to schedule a free, confidential consultation at the Vasquez Law Firm, PLLC today. We serve clients in Raleigh, Charlotte, Smithfield, Wake County, Mecklenburg County, Johnston County, and the surrounding communities. Hablamos Espanol.

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