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Client Hit by Ambulance Driver Defeats Immunity & Gets Compensated

Client Hit by Ambulance Driver Defeats Immunity & Gets Compensated

Posted By The Barrera Law Firm, PLLC | 30-Aug-2016

It is with great pleasure that we can announce today that our client has finally received compensation for her automobile accident which occurred in 2013. This was a hotly contested case in which the defense refused to play ball throughout.

Our client was stopped at a red light in Fairfax County when an ambulance transporting a drunk person approached her from behind. This ambulance driver didn't have his lights or sirens on. He wasn't driving in an emergency fashion. He was obeying all the laws of the road. After coming to a complete stop, the ambulance driver erroneously thought our client had turned right on red, causing a rear end collision. Our client's vehicle sustained roughly $1,000 in damages. Our client was diagnosed with post-traumatic Fibromyalgia.

The defense claimed that sovereign immunity attached to the ambulance because it was transporting a patient (police, ambulance, and fire-truck drivers get special leeway because of their jobs). Our client survived pre-trial motions to dismiss the case. We argued that the law requires "something more than normal driving" for immunity to attach. This is because all driver face common risks associated with driving. Driving normally, regardless of your job, doesn't present any special risks. Only when the driving is emergent (think chasing a fleeing suspect) does immunity apply. Here, the patient in the ambulance wasn't in any danger. The ambulance was driving like everyone else on the road. He didn't even have his lights or siren on. His accident was a normal, negligent driver accident. The Judge hearing the motion agreed.

The case eventually resolved the week of trial, for $40,000. We are very pleased for our client, and hope that this outcome helps inform the community of their rights when involved in an accident caused by an emergency first-responder. They are there to help us in emergencies, not cause them. When they do, the County should pay.

Call (571) 290-2390 if you have been the victim of an accident caused by an emergency first-responder.

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