According to reporting from WGRZ Buffalo, the Buffalo Police Department is investigating a crash involving one of the city’s emergency service vehicles. Officials reported that the firefighters were in the process of responding to a two-alarm fire on East Delavan Avenue.
The emergency vehicle reportedly had its lights and sirens on as it crossed through the intersection of William Street and Bailey Avenue—where it then crashed with an oncoming car. Both vehicles suffered considerable damage at the scene of the collision.
A spokesperson for the Buffalo Police indicated that the firefighter and the other driver were transported to a local hospital, where they were both treated for various injuries. The crash is being actively investigated by city law enforcement.
Collisions With Emergency Vehicles: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can You Still Bring a Personal Injury Claim Against an EMS Vehicle?
Yes. You can still bring a motor vehicle accident claim after a collision with an emergency services vehicle. While there are special rules and regulations that apply to these types of cases, you still have the right to take legal action to seek financial compensation for your injuries. Do not assume that you are precluded from bringing a claim. Consult with a New York motor vehicle accident attorney immediately after a crash.
How Long Do You Have to Take Action?
Less time than in other cases. Indeed, you may have as little as 90 days to bring a claim. If you were involved in a collision with a government vehicle—meaning a vehicle operated by the City of Buffalo, Erie County, or any other municipality—New York state law requires you to file a preliminary document called a ‘Notice of Claim’ within 90 days of your crash. Do not wait for action.
What Do You Have to Do Prove to Liability?
It depends on the specific circumstances of the case. Under New York law, the standard will generally be determined based on whether or not the ambulance or emergency vehicle had its lights flashing when the collision occurred.
If the emergency vehicle did not have its sirens and lights on, then the claim is likely governed by the negligence standard—similar to other motor vehicle accident claims. However, if the siren and lights were flashing, then the crash is likely governed by the more challenging ‘recklessness’ standard.
In other words, emergency services vehicles are given special privileges when their sirens are on. To be clear, this does not mean that an ambulance can never be held liable if its lights were flashing. An ambulance that is operated in a reckless manner can still be held legally responsible for a collision—regardless of whether or not it was responding to a genuine emergency.
Contact Our Buffalo Auto Accident Lawyer for Immediate Help
At Richmond Vona, LLC, our New York car accident attorneys fight aggressively to help injured victims maximize their financial recovery. If you were hurt in a crash with an emergency services vehicle, our team can help. To arrange a no cost, no strings attached consultation, please contact us now. We represent injured victims throughout Western New York, including in Buffalo, Williamsville, Rochester, Brockport, and West Seneca.