Denver Emergency Vehicle and Fire Truck Accident Attorneys
Emergency personnel, such as firefighters, police officers, and paramedics, play a vital role in the safety of residents in every community. However, sometimes their rapid response to dire situations can lead to vehicle accidents and severe injuries. If you sustained an injury in a fire truck or emergency vehicle accident, The Bourassa Law Group can help you recover the financial compensation you need.
Usually, a crash involving a large emergency vehicle results in traumatic physical harm, expensive property damage, and long-term medical treatment. If the driver was careless behind the wheel, they could be held liable for your injuries.
In the aftermath of a serious accident, when you’re grappling with injuries and facing a growing stack of medical bills, it’s crucial to have a skilled, attentive truck accident attorney on your side. Our Denver attorneys at The Bourassa Law Group have the experience needed to recover the money owed to victims of emergency vehicle and fire truck accidents.
Don’t hesitate to call us to schedule your free consultation to learn more about your case. Call (303) 331-6186 today.
Reasons Fire Truck and Emergency Vehicle Accidents Occur
When there’s an emergency, first responders need to promptly reach the scene of the accident, with no delays. To help them navigate the roads safely when they’re driving above the speed limit or passing through red lights, emergency vehicle drivers use sirens, lights, and other mechanisms that notify other vehicles of their presence.
Cars are supposed to move over and let a fire truck, ambulance, or cop cruiser pass. Despite traffic laws giving emergency vehicles the right of way, the emergency vehicle driver needs to be safe and prevent putting other people at risk. If they act carelessly, they could cause other motorists significant harm.
Some common examples of negligence that leads to accidents involving fire trucks and other emergency vehicles include:
- Accelerating through intersections without checking that it’s clear first
- Attempting to drive through small gaps between cars
- Failing to use sirens and lights
- Taking turns at a high rate of speed
- Tailgating other vehicles
Even if there’s a passenger vehicle that doesn’t pay attention to the sirens and flashing lights, the fire truck or other emergency vehicle should drive through an intersection with caution. Speeding ahead without checking for any oncoming vehicles could result in a severe head-on collision or sideswipe crash.
Immunity for Governmental Entities
Unfortunately, it can be a challenge to pursue financial compensation from an accident caused by a government entity. In most situations, there’s a doctrine that gives these parties governmental immunity, which protects them from liability in a lawsuit.
Governmental immunity includes fire trucks, police cars, ambulances, and similar emergency vehicles operating in such a way to respond to fires, prevent crimes, and provide emergency medical assistance. If you want to try to hold a government agency financially responsible for your injury, you will face some obstacles.
Despite the allowances afforded to emergency responders, they must act reasonably to prevent harm to other motorists. If the driver of an emergency vehicle follows proper protocol while traveling to an emergency, there will be no grounds for a lawsuit. However, if you can show that the driver’s actions were dangerous, and it led to your physical injuries, you might be able to center your case around negligence to recover a monetary award.
Negligent Actions You Can Use to Hold a Government Entity Liable
Despite immunity laws, some circumstances justify the victim of a fire truck or emergency vehicle accident to seek compensation. If you want to file an insurance claim or sue the at-fault party, you’ll have to prove five circumstances existed at the time of the crash:
- The defendant owed you a duty of care;
- They breached that duty;
- If not for their action or inaction, you wouldn’t have sustained an injury;
- The defendant’s breach of duty was the cause of your injury; and
- You suffered an injury and losses.
If you discover that any of the reasons below led to your collision with a fire truck or emergency vehicle, you can file an insurance claim or lawsuit:
- Driver under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Failure to use emergency lights and sirens
- Texting while driving, or another form of distraction
- Using lights and sirens when there’s no emergency
- Excessive speeding, despite the emergency circumstance
- Drowsy or fatigued driving
- Failure to adjust driving for adverse weather conditions
What You Do After a Fire Truck or Emergency Vehicle Accident Could Affect Your Case
When you get into an accident, the feelings of shock and trauma usually set in immediately. You can’t believe what just happened – you’re often not sure what to do next or the best way to handle the situation.
If you leave the scene without a police officer investigating the crash first or wait days or weeks before seeing a doctor, you could face many challenges when you try to pursue civil action against the emergency vehicle driver.
Following the steps below could help you build a solid foundation to your case if you were the victim of a fire truck or emergency vehicle accident:
- Call 911 for an officer to investigate the cause of the crash and write a police report.
- Speak to anyone who witnessed the collision and write down their names and phone numbers.
- Take photos of the accident site.
- Get the other driver’s insurance information, emergency vehicle information, the government entity the vehicle belongs to, and their contact information.
- Go to an emergency room for a medical evaluation of your injuries.
- Write down all the details about the crash, such as the time and location, what you were doing, what the emergency vehicle driver did that caused the accident, and anything else you can remember.
- Hire a Denver fire truck and emergency vehicle accident attorney from The Bourassa Law Group.
What Are Damages?
You will come across damages when you start the process of pursuing compensation after a fire truck or emergency vehicle wreck. Damages are the expenses and intangible losses the victim of an accident incurs. Depending on the extent of your injury and long-term effects, you could recover compensation for your total damages.
The types of damages resulting from a vehicle accident include:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Loss of future income
- Out of pocket expenses
- Physical disfigurement
- Pain and suffering
- Rental car costs
- Emotional distress
- Loss of affection or companionship
An insurance adjuster assigned to your claim or the judge or jury selected for your court proceedings will review all your damages to determine the financial award you deserve. Colorado places a cap of $250,000 on non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering. If evidence of permanent physical impairment resulted from the crash, the cap gets increased to $500,000.
How Do I File a Lawsuit Against a Government Entity?
If immunity against the government entity gets waived for your case, you can file your claim or lawsuit. You must submit a written notice to the attorney general or attorney representing the entity within 180 days from the date of the accident. Also, your notice should include the following information:
- Your name and address
- The name and address of your Denver fire truck and emergency vehicle accident attorney
- A statement including the date, time, and location of the accident and the event that caused your injury
- The name and address of employees involved in the crash
- A statement describing the nature and extent of the injury you suffered
- The number of damages you’re requesting
After filing the notice, you have to wait at least 90 days before you can move forward with pursuing a lawsuit for damages or for the government entity’s denial letter, whichever instance comes first.
If your claim gets approved and the defense attorneys assume liability on behalf of the fire truck or emergency vehicle entity, you can continue the legal process with your attorney’s help. We will make sure we follow each step and aggressively argue your case in court.
What If I Can’t Afford a Lawyer?
Some attorneys will charge by the hour or require fees for every phone call or email exchanged between them and their client. The Bourassa Law Group aims to provide affordable legal services to our clients.
We take fire truck and emergency vehicle accident cases on a contingency-fee basis. That means we won’t get paid until you get paid. If we’re able to secure a settlement or favorable jury verdict, we’ll take our legal fees from your financial award. If we’re unable to win your case, you won’t have to pay us anything.
What Sets The Bourassa Law Group Apart
We’re different from other personal injury law firms. Our primary focus is on providing exceptional customer service to our clients. Our team of Denver fire truck and emergency vehicle accident attorneys is available to speak with you 24/7. You won’t have to wait long to receive a call back for a status update or answer to your question.
We understand the pain you’re in and the overwhelming feeling of trying to recover from a horrific accident. The last thing you want to worry about is navigating the complex legal system. The Bourassa Law Group will handle everything for you. From the initial filing of your claim to negotiating a fair settlement, you can count on us to take care of all the details.
We put our clients’ needs first and will create a plan that meets and exceeds all your expectations. You can depend on us to maintain professionalism, honest communication, and high ethical standards at all times. Our reputation is something we’re proud of, and we want you to know that we will live up to it.
To find out how our dedicated Denver truck accident attorneys can help you recover the compensation you deserve, call (303) 331-6186 for a free consultation.
Frequently asked questions
The legal definition of a personal injury is when someone’s failure to use reasonable care in a particular situation results in another person’s physical, emotional, or psychological injury. Personal injury cases often rely on the elements of negligence to prove the responsible party’s actions were the cause of the other party’s injuries.
The length of a personal injury case depends on the type of case and various factors, such as the severity of the injury sustained and the duration of necessary treatment. A car accident case might take six months to resolve, while a wrongful death lawsuit could take two years. It all depends on the circumstances surrounding the case.
No. Whether you got hurt in a car accident or on someone else’s property, you should never speak with their liability insurance company about the claim. They try to save money whenever possible and could attempt to trick you into accepting a low settlement amount or intimidate you into dropping the case. Your Denver personal injury lawyer will handle all communication on your behalf.
It depends. A vast majority of personal injury cases settle out of court. When we file a claim with the insurance company, we’ll submit evidence that proves you deserve compensation for your injuries. Sometimes the insurer is willing to settle. Other times, they deny the claim or provide a settlement much lower than you deserve. Under those circumstances, we will file a lawsuit and take the case to court.
Mediation is a step during a lawsuit where both sides meet to try to reach an agreement. The mediator listens to the arguments on both the plaintiff’s and the defendant’s sides and attempts to resolve the issue. If they can reach an agreement, they will settle out of court, and the case will get dismissed. If they can’t resolve the matter, the case will proceed to trial.