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What happens in an accident with an emergency vehicle?

Updated: Feb 14, 2023



As we all know, first responders perform tasks which we all need and are thankful for. They have to rush from one location to the next to ensure the individual in need is tended to in time. However, due to all this rushing, sometimes through crowded streets, it’s no surprise accidents may occur. You may wonder if they have liability for that incident, well we are going to dive into exactly what that would entail.


Accidents involving emergency vehicles affect everyone.

Emergency vehicles need the ability to get to their destinations as quickly as possible. Therefore, by getting into an accident it creates a hindrance in the time frame in which they can arrive where they need to be. That’s why it is so important to keep Florida’s Move Over Law in mind when on the road.


Analyzing Florida’s ‘Move Over’ Law

Florida’s Move Over Law protects first responders, allowing them to perform their necessary tasks, and the rest of us motor vehicle users as well.


The law is simple and states:

  • As soon as it is safe to do so, vacate the lane closest to the emergency vehicle

  • Signal your intention to change lanes.

  • Be prepared to allow those who are attempting to move over into the next lane.

  • If moving over cannot be safely accomplished, slow down to a speed that is 20 mph less than the posted speed limit

  • When the posted speed limit is 25 mph or greater, travel at 5 mph


What Steps Do I take after an Accident with an Emergency Vehicle

The priority in any accident is ensuring your safety and documenting whatever occurred at the scene. If you physically can’t do it yourself, see if you can get a friend or loved one to do so for you. Try to take as many photos as possible, call for help if you need it (ambulance, family, etc.), and notify your insurance of the incident as soon as possible.


Can I file an insurance claim against the emergency vehicle if they are at fault?

First responders and the city that employs them may have immunity to any claims against them. Of course, there are situations in which they are not immune to recourse for an accident..


An example of this would be if a serious injury was sustained or a death occurred. Proving negligence of these types of vehicles is very difficult. Like anything else, there are some circumstances in which this can be the case.


Cases in which emergency vehicles may be found at fault:

  • When they cannot use caution

  • When they speed and ignore traffic signs without utilizing siren and lights

  • When they turn at extremely high speeds

  • When they do not stop for pedestrians

  • When they drive under the influence of all drugs

  • When they drive fatigued or distracted

If you have been in an accident, under the circumstances we described, contact an accident attorney today. They will help walk you through the process and tell you what your options are. At Demesmin and Dover law firm, we take every case personally and want to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.


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