Do First Responders Have Liability For An Accident? 

We all appreciate the life-saving job that first responders do, and we recognize that they must be able to respond promptly to situations to save those lives. Nonetheless, there is no doubt that emergency vehicles racing through city streets endanger other drivers and pedestrians going about their business. First responders provide important services to all of us, but if you were involved in an accident involving a first responder, you might wonder if they are liable. A personal injury lawyer would be able to help answer your questions. 

First responders must be at the scene of an emergency quickly, as it might be a matter of life and death. Yet, emergency vehicles travel at high speeds through congested highways and streets, so there may be mishaps involving other vehicles, property, or pedestrians. Drivers or their parent firm or organization may be held liable in specific instances. 

Understanding Move-Over Laws 

Move Over laws safeguard workers performing vital roadway jobs by compelling motorists to take specified actions. In other words, these laws outline your responsibilities on the road. The laws require drivers to slow their speed and increase their distance from the car before them as soon as they detect flashing emergency lights. This improves visibility and the capacity to respond safely to whatever circumstance arises. 

If it is safe, shift lanes away from the emergency vehicle on multi-lane highways. This creates a safer environment for workers while allowing oncoming motorists to see the emergency vehicle more clearly. If changing lanes is unsafe, vehicles should slow down to at least ten mph below the stated speed limit, move as far back as feasible inside their lane, and proceed with caution. 

Emergency vehicle light statutes 

We all know that emergency vehicles can accelerate and run red lights, but when and how they can do so is governed by state law. The state laws vary from one state to another, but some states permit first responders to operate outside of traffic restrictions provided the following requirements are met: 

Emergency personnel may violate the posted speed limit or any other traffic law. In contrast, the police or law enforcement vehicle operates as an authorized emergency vehicle with its lights activated. This enables emergency responders to arrive at an emergency location quickly and potentially save lives. To avoid a car collision, they must do so with due regard for the safety of all traffic and motor vehicles on the road or highway. When a police car is responding to an emergency, an audible signal is not required because it may warn a suspect of their presence. 

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