Can I claim compensation for crash with fire engine even though it was on its way to an emergency?
Despite the fact that the fire engine was using its special dispensation to break normal traffic laws when driving towards an emergency, you should still be able to claim compensation for crash with fire engine – provided that you can prove the accident was caused at least in part by the negligence of the fire engine driver and that you sustained injuries that warranted medical attention.
All vehicle drivers owe a duty of care to fellow road users and pedestrians – including drivers of emergency vehicles. Although vehicles like fire engine and ambulances are permitted to break red lights and drive over the speed limit, they must still be alert and aware of others on the road. If they are found to have breached their duty of care, you should be able to claim compensation for your injuries. The one factor that may jeopardise the possibility of receiving the full amount of compensation for fire engine accident you are eligible for would be if contributory negligence became an issue.
If you have been found to have contributed to the cause of the accident – by not being fully attentive, for example – or to the severity of your injuries – such as if you did not receive prompt medical attention, or if you had not been wearing a seatbelt, the compensation amount you are entitled to may be reduced to reflect your own lack of care.
It would be in your best interests to discuss the circumstances of your accident and subsequent injuries with an experienced personal injury claims solicitor at the first possible opportunity, in order to fully ascertain whether or not recovering compensation for crash with fire engine is a realistic prospect. Your solicitor will assess your claim, factoring in elements such as your age, state of health prior to the accident and the potential issue of contributory negligence to determine whether or not you have a viable claim for fire engine injury.
Your solicitor will also consider the evidence you provide them with such as a copy of the Garda report you should have made and a copy of your medical history, with details of the injuries you sustained in the fire engine accident. It is highly important that you sought professional medical attention immediately after the accident occurred, for without proof that your injuries were sustained no claim for fire engine injury can be made.
Other forms of evidence that could support your claim, such as witness details and photographs of the accident scene would also be advantageous. However, even if you have not completed all of the standard procedures, you should still consult with a solicitor to confirm whether you have a right to claim compensation for crash with fire engine. Once your claim’s viability has been established, your solicitor will not only be able to assist with completing any necessary procedures but can also complete the application for assessment to the Injuries Board Ireland, so that no omissions or errors that could affect your claim are made.