When a truck driver causes an accident after making a careless or reckless driving error—like running a red light or driving the wrong way on a one-way street—state law allows the injured parties to file a Maryland truck accident lawsuit to recover for damages incurred as a result. However, there may be certain cases where states want to limit liability for certain drivers or accidents. One common instance is limiting the liability of or providing immunity to those driving emergency medical vehicles such as ambulances who cause crashes. Granting this immunity allows those providing emergency medical care to escape liability if tragically they cause an accident while trying to help someone else.
In a recent opinion, a state supreme court considered whether an ambulance driver was immune from liability after he ran a red light, causing a serious car accident. According to the court’s written opinion, the plaintiff in the case was injured on March 11, 2016, when a private ambulance driven by one of the defendants (and owned by the other defendant) ran a red light, colliding with the plaintiff’s vehicle.
The plaintiff filed a personal injury lawsuit against the defendants, seeking to recover damages for his injuries based on the negligence or, alternatively, the willful and wanton misconduct of the driver. The defendants moved to dismiss the plaintiff’s negligence claim based on an immunity provision in a state statute. The statute provides civil immunity to anyone who is operating an ambulance in the performance of non-emergency medical services at the time of the accident, unless they were operating it with willful or wanton misconduct. Because negligence is much easier to prove than willful or wanton misconduct, having the negligence claim dismissed would significantly decrease the plaintiff’s chance at winning the suit.
The court, however, found that the ambulance driver was not immune from liability. The court noted that the ambulance driver was traveling to pick up a patient in one part of the city to transport them to a second location. This was undisputedly a non-emergency transport. While some non-emergency medical services were included under the statute’s grant of immunity, the court found that picking up a patient solely to transport them to another location was not covered under the statute. As such, the defendants were not entitled to immunity and the plaintiff’s lawsuit could move forward towards trial or settlement negotiations.
Of course, every state has its own immunity statutes, and no two states apply these laws the same way. Those injured in a Maryland ambulance accident should reach out to a dedicated personal injury attorney for immediate assistance.
Have You Been Injured in a Maryland Truck Accident?
If you or a loved one had recently been injured in a Maryland truck accident, you may be wondering what the law says about holding the negligent driver responsible for your injuries. Let the experienced attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen, Personal Injury Lawyers, assist you through this overwhelming and difficult process. Our attorneys will work with you every step of the way and aggressively pursue a claim for compensation on your behalf, allowing you to focus on your recovery. To learn more and schedule a risk-free consultation with one of our experienced personal injury attorneys, call us today at 800-654-1949.