Louisiana Court of Appeal Upholds Dismissal of Car Accident Case Involving Ambulance Responding to Call

Car accidents can happen almost anywhere and can involve a wide variety of persons, including individuals who are working at the time of the crash. No two car accidents are exactly the same, which is why it is critical to have an experienced Louisiana car accident lawyer on your side.

In a recent court case, the plaintiff was injured in a car accident involving the driver of an ambulance, which was a company vehicle. The plaintiff filed a lawsuit seeking compensation from the defendant for his injuries and expenses. According to the complaint, the plaintiff alleged that the defendant failed to yield the right of way at a red light. In response to the complaint, the defendant alleged that he had engaged the ambulance’s lights and siren and that, according to Louisiana law, he had the right of way despite the red light. He relied on the emergency responder statute to argue that he was entitled to qualified immunity in the lawsuit and that as a result he could not be held liable.

The defendants filed a motion for summary judgment, relying on the same statute. They cited the provision stating “the driver of an emergency vehicle can be held liable only if his conduct amounts to reckless disregard for the safety of others.” The trial court denied this motion, and the case proceeded to a jury trial. During this trial, the plaintiff was asked to explain what happened as he approached the intersection. He testified that he heard something, but he was not sure at the time whether or not it was an ambulance. He indicated that there was a large truck next to him coming to a stop but that he did not see anything, so he proceeded with the green light.

The jury ultimately concluded that the defendant was responding to a call at the time of the accident and that he was protected by the statute. The plaintiff appealed. On review, the appellate court upheld the lower court’s judgment dismissing the claims with prejudice. The court reviewed the evidence in the record and noted that there was ample evidence showing that the defendant drove with as much caution as he could when responding to the call and that slowed his ambulance before entering the intersection. The court also relied on evidence showing that the plaintiff proceeded into the intersection even though the traffic around him was coming to a stop.

If you or a loved one was harmed in a car accident, our team of car accident lawyers is prepared to help you determine whether you are legally entitled to compensation from the other driver. Conducting a thorough investigation and negotiating with insurance companies can be daunting, particularly if you are severely injured. We proudly represent individuals throughout Louisiana and will provide you with the attentive and knowledgeable legal counsel that you deserve. Call us now at (225) 929-7481 or contact us online to get started.

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