In Norfolk and Virginia Beach, fire truck collisions are far more common than one might expect. These accidents often result in devastating injuries for innocent victims.
If you or a loved one was injured in a fire truck accident, you need to understand your rights and the short time period you may have to pursue your claim. The experienced Norfolk truck accident attorneys at Tavss Fletcher can help you file your claim and fight for the compensation you deserve from the fire department's insurance company.
Leading Causes of Fire Truck Collisions in Norfolk
Fire truck accidents in Virginia can occur for various reasons, many of which can be attributed to negligence or lack of proper training within fire departments. Understanding the common causes behind these wrecks can help you determine if the firefighter driving the fire truck caused your wreck. Here are some common causes of these crashes.
Lack of Training
Firefighters are undoubtedly heroes but must undergo rigorous training to ensure their proficiency in handling emergencies. Unfortunately, not all fire departments provide adequate training to their personnel. This lack of training can lead to dire consequences when firefighters operate heavy fire trucks, especially when racing to a fire. Inexperienced drivers may struggle to navigate traffic or make split-second poor decisions, increasing the risk of accidents.
While fire trucks need to reach their destinations swiftly in emergencies, this urgency should not come at the expense of safety. Some fire truck drivers, however, fail to exercise caution when speeding through streets. Excessive speed can make it challenging to control the truck, react to unexpected obstacles, or stop in time to avoid collisions.
Fire trucks are equipped with various specialized tools and equipment to handle emergencies effectively. However, if these items are not securely stowed, they can become dangerous projectiles during transit.
Loose equipment can shift in the truck, leading to an unbalanced load that affects the vehicle's stability, potentially causing rollover accidents or collisions with other vehicles. In addition, crashes can occur if motorists must swerve to avoid a ladder or other equipment that falls off the fire truck onto the road.
Stop signs and traffic lights at intersections are particularly hazardous locations for fire truck accidents. Some firefighters driving a fire truck may fail to adhere to traffic rules, neglecting to stop at red lights or yielding the right of way. In their urgency to reach the scene of an emergency, they put themselves, pedestrians, and other motorists at risk. These reckless actions can result in catastrophic wrecks.
Rollover accidents involving fire trucks can be particularly devastating. These massive vehicles have a high center of gravity, making them susceptible to tipping over, especially when taking sharp turns at high speeds. Rollover accidents endanger the firefighters' lives and pose a significant threat to pedestrians, bicyclists, and other drivers on the road if the fire truck rolls over onto them.
The Statute of Limitations to Pursue Your Claim May Be Shorter
Filing a claim against a fire department for a fire truck accident in Virginia Beach or Norfolk may come with a shorter statute of limitations than standard motor vehicle wrecks. Typically, in Virginia, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is two years from the date of the crash. However, when dealing with government entities like fire departments, unique rules, and much shorter deadlines must be followed.
Given these complexities, consulting with a knowledgeable truck accident attorney in Norfolk immediately after the collision occurs is vital. They can ensure your compensation claim is filed within the necessary time frame. A lawyer will also be well-versed in dealing with government agencies and their legal requirements, increasing your chances of a successful outcome.