Pittsburgh Public Vehicle Accident Lawyers
Dedicated Personal Injury Lawyers Fight for Clients Injured in Accidents With Public Vehicles Throughout Pittsburgh
Public emergency vehicles, such as fire trucks, ambulances, and police cars, are given the ability to disregard various traffic laws in emergency situations for a reason—we need these first responders to be able to get to the emergency for all of our protection. Despite this, public vehicles are driven by human beings, who, despite their extensive training, can cause accidents if they are negligent in executing their duties. If you have sustained injuries in an accident caused by a public vehicle, you may feel intimidated or confused about the possibility of pursuing a claim to recover compensation for your injuries because, after all, the people who drive these vehicles are there to protect us. At Goodrich & Geist, P.C., our Pittsburgh public vehicle accident lawyers can help you understand that, although these cases can be complicated, you may have the right to recover compensation from a negligent driver of a fire truck, ambulance or police car.
Injuries caused by colliding with a public vehicle can be especially severe, and even life-threatening, because of the large size of some of these vehicles and the high speeds at which they may legally travel. After you are injured in an accident involving a public vehicle, it is especially important to retain an experienced public vehicle accident lawyer because, in some cases, a reduced timetable will apply so that you will have less time to decide whether to pursue a claim against a government entity. These special rules do not apply with respect to all public vehicles, and the experienced lawyers at Goodrich & Geist, P.C. can help explain how they may work in your case.
Complexities Posed by Pennsylvania’s Sovereign Immunity Laws in Certain Public Vehicle Accidents
Public vehicles generally include those vehicles that are present to protect and serve the public, including fire trucks, ambulances, police cars and other vehicles designed for use in providing protection for the public in an emergency. Although not all public vehicles are operated by government entities, in some cases—such as when a police car is involved—recovering compensation will require pursuing a claim against the government entity itself. When this is the case, the usual two-year time period for deciding whether to pursue a claim for damages does not apply and you are given only six months to provide notice of your intent to pursue a claim to the government entity that includes:
- The date, time and location of the accident,
- Your name and address,
- The contact information of the doctor who treated you.
Under Pennsylvania law, the amount of compensation that you can receive from the actual government entity may also be limited to around $250,000 (the amount is adjusted from time to time).
Pittsburgh Public Vehicle Accident Lawyers at Goodrich & Geist, P.C. Have the Resources Necessary to Successfully Pursue Compensation in Your Case
The skilled Pittsburgh public vehicle accident lawyers at Goodrich & Geist, P.C. will thoroughly investigate the circumstances surrounding your accident to determine whether any one of the following factors contributed to the accident:
- The driver of the public vehicle was overly exhausted from working extended hours,
- Improper maintenance of the public vehicle,
- The driver of the public vehicle had not been properly trained in safely navigating the roadways while disregarding certain traffic rules,
- An emergency vehicle was driven at excessive speeds under the circumstances.
Public vehicles and their drivers are retained to protect the interests of the public in emergency situations. When their negligent driving causes even more harm than the emergency itself, you should have the right to just compensation for your injuries. While public vehicles are permitted to disobey the speed limits, stop signs and red lights in an emergency situation, they continue to have a duty to drive as safely as possible under the circumstances, so that innocent bystanders and drivers of vehicles on the roadways are not injured.
Schedule a Free Initial Consultation With our Pittsburgh Public Vehicle Accident Lawyers Today
The fact that recovering compensation in a case involving a public vehicle accident can be complex does not mean that you do not have the right to recover full and fair compensation for your injuries. Goodrich & Geist, P.C., our experienced Pittsburgh public vehicle accident lawyers will evaluate your case to help you understand whether you have the right to pursue a claim for compensation, and the rules that will apply depending upon the vehicle that caused your accident. Call our offices, or fill out this online form, to set up a free consultation with our experienced personal injury lawyers today. Our office is conveniently located at 3634 California Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15212.
Frequently Asked Questions About Public Vehicle Accidents
Our lawyers will fight to establish your right to the same types of compensation that would be available if the other driver drove a civilian vehicle. This includes reimbursement for your medical expenses and rehabilitative care, compensation for your wages, salary or employment benefits that were lost because of your recovery time, as well as compensation for the pain and suffering caused by the injuries themselves. In particularly severe cases, or wrongful death cases, compensation for loss of enjoyment of life, or loss of the company and support of your loved one, may even be available. The level of compensation available will always depend upon the severity and potential permanency of your injuries.
You should take the same steps as you would after any other car accident—namely, you should seek out medical attention as soon as possible to rule out any injuries that might not be immediately apparent. Assuming your injuries were not severe, you should document the scene of the accident to the extent possible by taking photos of the crash and any injuries, obtaining information about the driver (a badge or license number, vehicle license plate number, etc.) and the contact information of any witnesses. Call an experienced public vehicle accident lawyer as soon as possible, we may even be able to come to the scene to begin conducting our investigation immediately so as to gather the strongest possible evidence in your case.