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NYC Firefighter Attorneys Manage Injuries from Vehicle Accidents

Determined pursuit of full compensation for injured clients

According to statistics from the NYPD, there are more than 16,000 vehicle collisions in New York City every month, producing almost 3,000 casualties. This is the chaotic environment in which the FDNY must operate, and it’s a testament to how well New York City firefighters do their job that only around 30 such accidents involve fire trucks. When accidents involving fire trucks do happen, they are often major, especially when two fire apparatus responding to the same emergency collide. When firefighters are injured in vehicle accidents, they deserve every benefit of the law. When reckless or negligent driving causes firefighter injuries, Barasch & McGarry is ready to assert their rights. We are aggressive trial lawyers with more than 100 years of combined experience. We fight hard to see you obtain the compensation you deserve.

Liability for NYC firefighter injuries in vehicle accidents

For obvious reasons, a firefighter operating a fire truck en route to an emergency is permitted to violate certain provisions of the Vehicle and Traffic Law, provided lights and sirens are on. The chauffeur is permitted to exceed the speed limit, to travel against the flow of traffic, to proceed through a red light, and to stop, stand, or park wherever necessary. An accident that occurs as a result of a chauffeur engaging in one of these protected activities is only actionable if the driver acted recklessly; it is not enough to show that he acted negligently. But if the accident occurs as a result of something else, such as the chauffeur looking down, or reaching for something, the ordinary negligence standard applies.

There are many complicating factors that can make liability for a vehicle accident involving a fire truck difficult to prove. For example, is the passenger car negligent for hitting a fire truck that crosses an intersection against the light? What about when two fire trucks, both going above the speed limit, collide? There’s also the question of the law, and whether a firefighter has a right to sue given the circumstances.

Liability scenarios can include:

  • Traffic violation — If a driver violated the vehicle and traffic law by, for example, failing to see a fire truck, and that violation caused an accident in which a firefighter was injured, the firefighter can sue the driver under General Municipal Law § 205-a.
  • Negligent driving — If a driver simply wasn’t paying attention and hit a fire truck or a firefighter standing adjacent to the scene of a fire, the injured firefighter could sue the negligent driver for ordinary negligence under General Obligations Law § 11-106 and for a violation of the VTL under GML 205-a.
  • Faulty equipment — If a fire truck accident occurred because of an automotive defect, injured firefighters could sue the manufacturer of the defective part. If a defect in the fire truck was due to faulty maintenance, or a design specification by the FDNY, the firefighters might have a case against the department under General Municipal Law § 205-a, for the department’s violation of New York State Labor Law 27-a. That statute requires the city to provide a work environment free of recognized hazards that can cause injury and death.
  • Department or coworker negligence — Firefighters may also sue the municipality under GML § 205-a, where injuries occur as a result of a fellow firefighter’s violation of a Vehicle and Traffic Law provision.

If you or a firefighter you love has been seriously injured in a vehicle accident, trust your case to a law firm with a distinguished record of service to the FDNY. Our experienced attorneys have demonstrated our dedication and resolve in countless cases of firefighter injury and negligent death.

Contact our experienced firefighter attorneys for vehicle accident injuries in NYC

Barasch & McGarry represents injured firefighters in a variety of cases, including vehicle accidents. We have the experience and resources to take your case to trial, and we fight to win! To schedule a free consultation, call 844.874.1564 or contact our office online.


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