Philadelphia Fire Truck Accident Lawyer
The Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine reports that there are more than 2,000 fire truck crashes in the United States every year. About 1,100 injuries and deaths result from those crashes. The U.S. Fire Administration is a federal agency that oversees safety for the firefighting industry. It reports that motor vehicle crashes are the second leading cause of death for firefighters.
Stay Away From Them
Fire trucks are allowed to ignore many traffic laws when they’re in route to an emergency, but they’re required to exercise due care and caution for other vehicles on the road too. Ladder trucks can be as long as a tractor-trailer and weigh in excess of 90,000 pounds. They have massive blind spots all the way around them, so it’s difficult for them to see other vehicles, motorcycles, bicyclists and pedestrians around them. When operating in the narrow streets of Philadelphia they present a clear danger to anybody around them.
Common Causes of Fire Truck Accidents
Given the fact that fire trucks are permitted to ignore many traffic laws when they’re responding to an emergency, other drivers must be prepared to react to them on the roadway. Failure to properly react by both fire truck operators and private motorists significantly increases the chances of an accident. Here are some of the common causes of fire truck crashes:
- Failing to yield the right-of-way when a fire truck approaches with flashing lights and a siren or horn sounding.
- Unsecured equipment like hoses, ladders or other equipment falling off of a fire truck and causing accidents.
- Failure to follow rules. Regardless of the fact that an emergency might exist, fire truck drivers must still stop at traffic signals and stop signs in order to assure their safe passage through an intersection.
Some Philadelphia Fire Truck Accidents
Given the sheer size of Philadelphia, it has had its own serious fire truck crashes over the recent years. In November of 2015, the driver of a ladder truck apparently lost control of the vehicle and hit four parked cars 55th Street and Baltimore Avenue. At least two of the cars were utterly demolished. Five firefighters were injured in the crash. In December of 2017, another ladder truck was in a head-on collision with a car. A second car was also involved. Both cars had extensive damage to their fronts. At least one person was taken from the scene by paramedics. In yet a third ladder truck crash in 2016, the fire truck was broadsided by an SUV in the Center City District while it was responding to a call. Fortunately, no injuries were reported in this crash. The SUV sustained extensive front-end damage.
Contact Us Right Away
Like police officers who drive squad cars, firefighters driving fire trucks aren’t infallible. Although they’re trained in how to operate their vehicles, accidents indeed occur that are the fault of fire truck drivers. You’ll want to contact us right away if you were injured in an accident that was wholly or partly caused by the driver of a fire truck. Here’s why.
Notice of Claim
Pursuant to Pennsylvania’s Governmental Tort Immunity Act, you’re required to give the City of Philadelphia written notice of a claim for personal injuries within six months of the occurrence that you claim you were injured in. This is mandatory. Failure to file a timely notice of personal injury claim is almost always cause for permanent dismissal of any personal injury lawsuit. Aside from the notice requirement, you have two years from the date of the accident to file your lawsuit. There are few exceptions to the claim notice deadline and time frame for filing a personal injury lawsuit against the City of Philadelphia.
You don’t want pretrial motions targeted at the content and timing of your claim notice and personal injury lawsuit. If we’re retained to represent you, we’ll properly draft and timely serve all necessary documents on your behalf. If you believe that a fire truck was the cause of the accident that you were injured in, contact us right away to arrange for a free consultation and case review.