Pursue justice and recover your damages when you are in a collision by turning to the nationally respected fire truck lawyers at Wilshire Law Firm. We are here to answer your important questions. Don’t let too much time go by since evidence can disappear. We’ve collected over $1 billion for injured clients. Start your free, confidential case review with a truck accident attorney today. Call us 24/7 at (800) 501-3011.
How a Fire Truck Accident Attorney Can Help
The skilled fire truck accident lawyers at Wilshire Law Firm have experience filing a claim when a life-saving vehicle causes an accident. Fire trucks are built to carry heavy equipment and often speed setting the stage for a horrific accident with severe injuries and even fatalities.
Claims against the government differ from other personal injury cases, and our award-winning legal team has the experience to handle them with a high success rate.
Whether the errant driver is on a life-saving mission or not has little meaning when you are in the hospital fighting for your life. Being able to afford the best medical care and making sure your family is economically stable without your salary is paramount.
Our lawyers understand this and work diligently to ensure this happens. From our investigators to our litigation team, we do everything we can to successfully resolve your case and win a life-changing award in your favor when you cannot help yourself.
Wilshire Law Firm is available 24/7 to take your calls or online requests, answer your questions and evaluate your case free of charge during a case review. If you retain us, you pay no fees unless you win. We honor our commitment to our clients and believe no one should pay for another’s mistakes.
Many organizations recognize this commitment and award us their highest honors. Yet, our most significant praise for us comes from our clients and our chance to make a difference in their lives. We’ve collected over one billion dollars for our clients and will fight for the justice and compensation you deserve.
Liability for a Fire Truck Accident
California Vehicle Code (CVC) Section 21055 addresses liability for emergency vehicles, including fire truck accidents. In this legal section, fire trucks responding to emergencies are subject to specific rules and exceptions. The driver is not liable for accident injuries if the fire truck responds to an emergency call.
However, the driver is liable if the fire truck returns from an emergency call to the station and causes an accident. In responding to an emergency, the fire truck driver may deviate from the standard rules of the road, such as speed limits, signal stops, and yielding the right-of-way. Fire truck drivers who act negligently or fail to exercise reasonable care while responding to an emergency could still be held responsible if their negligence results in an accident and injuries.
Pursuing Compensation After a Fire Truck Crash
Compensation in a fire truck accident varies from one case to another. The main feature determining the amount you may receive depends on the damages and injuries you suffer.
Everyday recoverable damages include:
- Lost wages: The inability to work can cause significant distress after a fire truck accident. By filing a claim against the city, you can recover your lost wages, bonuses and commission you would earn. If you cannot work at all, you may recover future wages. Those who are self-employed are also able to recover earnings.
- Medical expenses: Medical care is often astronomical and challenging for a family to afford, especially when working is not an option. A claim can recover emergency room costs, doctor’s fees, diagnostic tests, surgery medication and nursing expenses. It also recovers rehabilitation and post-hospital care, and at-home nursing care. If a disability caused by the fire truck accident requires home adaptations, that is compensable.
- Pain and suffering: This category includes emotional issues, psychological stress and physical pain inherent in an accident.
- Loss of enjoyment: An accident can affect the joy you once experienced doing certain activities you can no longer do due to your injuries.
- Loss of consortium: In California, your spouse can file a claim for loss of intimacy, love and support due to their loved one’s injuries.
Placing a Claim After an Injury Accident Involving a Fire Truck
Whether an injured person in an accident caused by the driver of a fire truck can recover compensation depends on many factors. Even though the lights and siren are on, the driver must exercise caution to avoid harming others. In addition, more than one party may be responsible if an injury accident  occurs involving negligence, such as:
- The driver did not retain licensing to drive a fire truck in a Code 3 designation (emergency call).
- The fire truck was not going in the direction of the traffic flow and did not attempt to be as close to the center lane as possible.
- The driver was moving the vehicle above 10 miles over the speed limit.
- Warning lights were inactive.
- The siren was inactive in the “wail” or “yelp” mode. The “hi-lo” mode was on, which is forbidden.
- The fire truck operator was moving against oncoming traffic when it wasn’t necessary.
- The fire truck operator did not reduce speed when nearing an intersection or continued when it wasn’t safe.
- The truck operator did not give traffic up ahead an opportunity to move right and get out of the way. The fire truck operator passed on the right without cause.
- The truck operator traveled on a highway or freeway with the siren and lights on, even though the traffic was moving.
- Lack of maintenance occurred, which factored into the accident.
During a free case evaluation, we’ll help determine the cause of the crash and where negligence may have occurred. Call us 24/7 to get started.
Other Causes of Negligence in a Collision Involving a Fire Truck
In some cases, negligence from an outside influence can result in a collision between a fire truck and another vehicle, pedestrian, or others. These may include:
- A defective part in the fire truck caused the accident, in which case a product liability claim might be possible against the part maker and manufacturer.
- Government roadway negligence caused the accident involving the fire truck. If this occurs, the government entity in charge of the roadway may hold liability.
Fire Truck Accident Statistics
Fire trucks frequently protect emergency responders in roadway accidents. Fire trucks are usually parked diagonally across the roadway or in traffic lanes. There were an estimated 2,500 collisions with fire trucks parked as blockers in 2019 (6.8 collisions per day or 16% of all fire truck collisions). Around 15% of all collisions result in secondary crashes, which cause 18% of all traffic fatalities on US roads. 
Common Causes of an Accident Involving a Fire Truck
Reasons for fire truck accidents may include:
- Inadequate training: Untrained response personnel on how to minimize roadway incidents and their associated hazards.
- Situational awareness is lacking: Due to insufficient training or inexperience, responders do not recognize the dangers of particular roadway situations.
- High speed: Fire trucks must arrive at their destination quickly, so they often proceed at a high pace, although restrictions exist. The prospect of a large vehicle navigating streets at high speed sets the landscape for a fire truck accident.
- More temporary traffic control: Cities need more fire departments with standard operating procedures. There have also been instances where responders had good SOPs, equipment and training but failed to use or follow them for whatever reason.
- Mispositioning of fire trucks: The mispositioning of fire trucks occurs. Other times, equipment ends up on the road for no reason.
- Misuse of scene lighting: When the fire truck’s headlights, warning lights, or floodlights blind approaching motorists, an accident can occur. Poorly placed lighting may cause other motorists to strike emergency vehicles, responders, or other vehicles in the area of the incident as a result.
- Inadequate safety equipment use: Responders working in the roadway must wear appropriate protective garments and use all available traffic-control devices to prevent being struck by oncoming traffic.
Don’t go it alone when you or a loved one is harmed in a crash. Call our fire truck accident law firm 24/7 to schedule your free case review.
Responsibility When Near a Fire Truck Is Responding to an Emergency
Motorists, bicycle riders, pedestrians and others carry their own responsibility when a fire truck responding to an emergency approaches. California’s “move over” law requires motorists to yield to emergency vehicles, such as fire trucks, under Vehicle Code 21806. Drivers must pull over and stop until the fire truck has passed.
In addition, if the vehicle is on a roadway where stopping is difficult, drivers must change lanes if possible, and if not, they must reduce speed when passing a fire truck. In some instances, drivers have been guilty of tailgating a fire truck with its siren and lights on, which is illegal. Drivers must remain at least 300 feet behind a fire truck under CVC 21706.
Statute of Limitations in Claims Against Government Entities
When someone is injured or a family member dies due to a negligent fire truck driver, they have only six months to file a claim under the statute of limitations against the government. The government entity has 45 days to respond to a claim for a personal injury or wrongful death.
The government entity may either accept or reject the claim under Cal. Gov. Code § 913. Although certain exceptions may apply, the injured party has six months to file a civil court claim if denied. If no response is received, the claimant has two years to take the case to court.
Free Case Review with a Fire Truck Accident Law Firm
Our personal injury lawyers are waiting to help after a crash. We’ve helped clients win their cases and obtain the compensation they deserve, and have collected over $1 billion for those clients.
Our legal teams have the experience and resources to get the job done. We focus on our injured clients and recognize their need to recover physically, emotionally, and financially.