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.