On August 24, 2022, it was reported by NBCWashington that at least six individuals were hurt when a tour bus and a fire truck were involved together in an accident. The incident took place while the firefighters were rushing to a fire in Southeast DC around noon, at the intersection of Alabama and Pennsylvania Avenues. All six individuals were taken to hospitals after the accident. Two of three individuals from the firetruck received potentially serious injuries.
Will those who were injured and those who incurred unexpected medical expenses from the accident receive financial help? What about for their lost wages and stress? Can the two firefighters with severe injuries get more compensation? There are many legal questions surrounding a matter like this. How complicated will this get?
Who’s at Fault in This Accident?
Emergency vehicles always have the right of way. If the tour bus driver failed to yield the right of way, the tour bus driver would hold the majority or even all of the fault. However, firefighters work incredibly long shifts that include responding to emergencies at all hours. Driving while sleep deprived is a common cause of firetruck accidents. Other causes include substance abuse by the driver, unsecured truck equipment, or faulty truck parts.
Fault must be proven in an insurance or legal claim. However, if the firetruck or fire department is seemingly at fault, the type of lawsuit you must file is best handled by an attorney who is experienced in municipal matters.
Compensation for Accident Victims: What to Know
There were six injured individuals, two with severe injuries. With two large vehicles invovled, it could have been much worse. Depending on how fault is determined, the victims may be eligible to receive:
- Medical care expenses
- Lost wages
- Emotional distress
- Out of pocket expenses from the accident
- Lawyer’s fees
From our experience, when there are severe injuries, there’s often a larger financial compensation.
What about the Severely Injured Fire Fighters?
Since we don’t know who is at fault from reading the article, we can only speculate what some of their legal options are:
- File claims with all involved insurance companies
- File a worker’s compensation claim
- File a legal claim against the responsible driver as an individual
- File a legal claim against the employee of the responsible driver (but if that’s the fire department, hire the right attorney)
How Complicated Will This Get?
It could get quite complicated. Depending on the owner of the tour bus, whether it’s a tiny legal entity or a conglomerate, we could be looking at two entities with legal departments ready to fight claims and minimize compensation victims. The defendants could end up including a combination of two drivers, two insurance companies, and even parts manufacturers if something turns out to be wrong with the firetruck.
Then, there’s the fact that a firetruck is a governmental property. If they were at fault, it is vital important that victims speak with an attorney. Personal injury claims involving governmental entities can be extremely complex and operate under a completely different statute of limitations.
At May Lightfoot PLLC, our attorneys understand how to handle even the most complex personal injury claims. We can help those who have been injured make sense of what happened and maximize the compensation they recover.