June 5, 2013
In a recent Fort Myers traffic collision, a driver slammed into a Fort Myers Police Department K-9 patrol car. According to WINK News Now, the accident happened at the intersection of Fowler Street and Colonial Boulevard. Accident reports from the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) indicate that it occurred just before midnight when the driver ran a red light.
Both motorists involved in this accident were transported to Lee Memorial Hospital.
Our Fort Myers car accident lawyers understand that dealing with a car accident involving a government vehicle can be more complex. Are you going after the individual for compensation for your damages? Are you going after the government? You need legal help in these cases to help you to sort through the details. With these kinds of accidents, there are very strict rules and time frames that you must abide by in order to obtain the compensation necessary to recover from an accident. Such cases are often complicated when a law enforcement or rescue vehicle is en route to a call. Whether lights or sirens are in use or whether police were following proper procedures when pursing a suspect are also matters that are commonly involved.
Governmental immunity, also known as sovereign immunity, is a concept by which a government agency or employee can escape liability for certain actions or omissions, even where a private person or entity would be held liable for damages. Sovereign immunity arises from the archaic notion that you cannot sue the King in the King’s own court, on the principle that the King can do no wrong.
As a result, federal, state and local governments must give consent to be sued, which is commonly referred to as a waiver of sovereign immunity. This immunity exists to prevent judgments for money against the government because they would be paid with taxpayers’ dollars.
Each year, there are roughly 200 people who are killed in accidents that involve emergency response vehicles. This includes fire trucks, police cruisers and ambulances. Thousands more are injured in these same kinds of accidents.
If you see an emergency vehicle traveling down the road with lights and/or sirens activated, you’re required by Florida law to pull over to the closest edge of the roadway and stop until the emergency vehicle has passed. This is so that drivers can make way for the emergency vehicle and allow them to travel as quickly as possible. It’s important that you never block an intersection. And remember that these laws apply to pedestrians and bicyclists as well.
Just so you know:
If you’re coming up to an emergency vehicle that is stopped on the side of the road, you must abide by the state’s “Move Over” law. Under this law, you’re required to vacate the lane closest to that vehicle as soon as it is safe to do so. If you are not able to safely move over, you must slow down to a speed of 20 mile per hour below the posted speed limit unless directed otherwise by a law enforcement officer.
If you or someone you love has been involved in a traffic accident, contact the Hollander Law Firm for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your case. Call us today at 1-888-751-7770.