Over-speeding and reckless driving are prohibited for all vehicles on the road, without exceptions. No car, under any circumstances, gets to evade the traffic laws, putting the lives of other people on the road at stake. Having said that, while being subject to the laws at all times, certain emergency vehicles do, in fact, enjoy immunity from following traffic laws under strict conditions. In such vehicles, ambulances come before police cars for their crucial contribution towards public medical assistance services.
Ambulances and emergency medical technician (EMT) vehicles worldwide enjoy immunity from following traffic laws while approaching an emergency. This immunity stems from the moral realization that everything that rests within power must be done to ensure that human life is saved against unnecessary delay. However, such immunity in no way means that ambulances and their drivers get to evade any and all liability for negligent driving and causing injuries on the road.
Holding ambulance drivers and companies liable for injuries
The conditions allowing evasion of traffic laws are strict. All must be present to divest the driver from any liability. Suppose you or a loved one has suffered injuries due to negligent driving by an ambulance driver. In that case, you can hold them liable to compensate for the harm suffered. A lawsuit will be brought in against them, to which an obvious defense raised them would be of immunity. Remember that emergency vehicles enjoy this immunity while being on a strictly “emergency function.” This means that an ambulance driver may have a defense only when he is approaching for picking or dropping a patient to and for a medical facility. Hence, immunity cannot be enjoyed at all times.
Which injuries can they be held liable for?
Ambulance drivers and companies can be held accountable for every injury suffered out of an accident that arose due to a negligent attitude. Negligence stems when a duty of care is breached. Like all motorists, ambulance drivers owe a duty of care to others present on the roads to drive safely to not put their lives at risk. Therefore, if a duty of care can be shown to be breached, negligence is proved. Moreover, for patients or their attendants present inside an ambulance, the driver owes a duty of care to you too. For example, suppose the patient or someone else inside the ambulance suffers injuries due to a crash. In that case, they are entitled to sue the ambulance driver or company based on negligence.
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