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Could first responders be held liable in truck accidents?

When a police car, fire truck or ambulance approaches you, it is natural for you to pull over. After all, yielding to an emergency vehicle is the law, and who wants to be the person standing in the way of a first responder and someone in need. So while a majority of drivers know to get out of the way, do the drivers of emergency vehicles know to do so as well?

It is reasonable to assume that they do, but like any other driver, sometimes drivers of emergency vehicles make mistakes and get into accidents. A prime example occurred in Miami, where an ambulance reportedly broadsided a fire truck. According to several media reports, the two emergency vehicles were responding to separate events and were crossing through a common intersection. 

The impact was so strong that it caused the fire truck to fall on its side, and the front end of the ambulance was completely destroyed. Several firefighters were hurt in the crash, and the patients riding in the ambulance needed additional medical treatment.

The story is an example of the responsibility that police officers, firefighters and other first responders have while behind the wheel. Indeed, they have the ability to bend traffic laws in order to quickly respond to emergencies, but they still must use a degree of reasonable care that drivers would exercise in similar situations. If such a driver fails to do so, and the failure results in an accident, the offending driver could be held liable; even though they are a first responder.

So if you have been involved in a crash with an emergency vehicle in Wisconsin, an experienced attorney can help. 

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