Emergency Vehicle Accidents

Stay away from that siren!

When you have an accident with an emergency vehicle such as an ambulance, or police vehicle, you are in for extra problems. The most serious problem is that there are statutes that provide that you can only sue an emergency vehicle for gross negligence. How does that differ from negligence or willful and wanton negligence? A famous law professor has explained it this way: If someone is negligent, they acted like a fool; if they are grossly negligent; they acted like a darned fool; if they are willfully and wantonly negligent, they acted like a goshdarned fool.

One sad case we had recently involved a poor taxi driver who was lawfully stopped at a red light when an inexperienced fire truck driver lost control of the truck and skidded a long way and smashed into his taxi cab. The judge declared that this was merely negligence and not gross negligence, and therefore the taxi driver lost his means of support through no fault of his own.