We have all witnessed ambulances, fire trucks, and police cars racing to a scene. Sirens and flashing lights usually catch our attention, and we try to do the right thing. However, when a car and emergency vehicle collide, who’s fault is it? That depends on several factors.
Illinois Laws for Motorists
Driving an automobile is more involved than simply turning a key or pushing a Start button. Motorists must abide by several Illinois laws that set out their responsibilities as they travel Illinois roads, including:
- Obeying traffic signs,
- Buying automobile insurance,
- Reporting a traffic accident,
- Wearing a seat belt,
- Avoiding distracted driving, and
- Reacting to an emergency vehicle.
This list is incomplete, but it’s important to note that laws specifically set out how drivers should react when a car nears a emergency vehicle. In fact, drivers are expected to exercise due care when driving. “Due care” includes being careful to avoid hitting anyone with their motor vehicle.
Emergency Vehicle Driver Responsibilities
Automobile drivers are not the only ones responsible for driving safely around emergency vehicles. The law also notes that:
“This Section shall not operate to relieve the driver of an authorized emergency vehicle from the duty to drive with due regard for the safety of all persons using the highway.” (625 ILCS 5/11-907(b)).
Drivers of emergency vehicles also have a duty to exercise due care while operating their vehicles, even in an emergency situation.
So, Who’s at Fault?
An investigation generally will be conducted after an accident involving an emergency vehicle. Either driver or both drivers might be blamed for the accident. For example, an ambulance racing through an intersection without activating its siren and lights might cause an accident. On the other hand, a driver who ignores the responsibilities laid out in Illinois law may be held criminally or civilly liable.
Drivers May Be Penalized When a Car and Emergency Vehicle Collide
If you have collided with an ambulance or another emergency vehicle, don’t assume that the accident is your fault. Talk to an Illinois personal injury lawyer immediately after the accident.
Osvaldo Rodriguez has more than 20 years’ experience helping people like you. Schedule a free initial consultation or ask a question by calling us at 708-716-3441 or by completing the Contact form on our website.
Mr. Rodriguez is fluent in both Spanish and English.
We represent clients throughout the state of Illinois, including Chicago, Addison, Bellwood, Bensenville, Berwyn, Chicago, Cicero, Elmwood Park, Franklin Park, Maywood, Melrose Park, Northlake, and all of Cook County, Lake County, Kane County, Dupage County and Will County.