Motor vehicle accident with fire truck, but my insurance won't support me?
I was involved in a motor vehicle accident with a fire truck. A fire department truck, with lights on but no siren, was on its way to an emergency call approximately 8:00pm. I pulled to the right side curb as they passed me and the fire truck was in left hand lane.
After the fire truck passed I started again driving in the right lane. I drove at 35 miles per hour in 45 mph zone in the right lane at approximately 500ft behind the fire truck, which was in the left lane.
The fire truck, without any warning, no turn signal, no break lights, no siren, abruptly made a hard right turn in front of me to enter an apartment complex. To avoid the fire truck colliding head on to my driver's side, I accelerated and the fire truck hit the back end of my car on my driver's side.
My car spun on impact. I was pressed hard against the driver's side door. I sustained a left arm injury, back, neck and sciatic nerve injury on my left side. I received physical therapy 2x/wk for 1 and 1/2 months afterwards.
The police came to the accident scene. No ticket was issued. The police said I was a distracted driver. They didn't say anything to me about the erratic, and unsafe turn made by the fire truck. They also did not include it in their accident report. I was left with heavy financial damage that my own insurance company had to pay.
I need help with claiming the severe emotional trauma and physical pain that I am still suffering from, as a result of this accident. My insurance company believes the errant police report, and that I was a distracted driver and the fire truck did nothing wrong. I need representation that will fight for my rights.
Do I have a case? How would I get an attorney to take a case like this and fight for me? Thank you for any perspective you can give.
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ANSWER for "Motor vehicle accident with fire truck, but my insurance won't support me?":
The State of Arizona is presently considering a new statute directly aimed at distracted drivers. Under Arizona House Bill Section 28-913, a law enforcement officer may issue a citation to a driver if the officer believes the driver was distracted while driving.
While the statute has yet to be enacted and added to Arizona's Revised Statutes, it can be found under Arizona House Bill 2312.
The police officer believed you were distracted while driving. However, because the law hasn't yet been enacted, the officer was not able to issue a citation.
You state you were driving approximately 500 feet behind the fire truck. By anyone's estimation, even if you were in the right lane, and the fire truck in the left, 500 feet is considerably close.
You must be realistic. Under the facts you present, including your own insurance company's position that you contributed to the accident, you will have a very difficult time finding an attorney to accept your case. Moreover, your injuries are minor. You weren't taken to the hospital, nor did you receive any medical treatment. Your only treatment was physical therapy.
Your claim of severe emotional trauma and physical pain is one which will likely not be taken seriously by the insurance company.
Finally, the fire truck was very likely part of a local town or city in the State of Arizona. Under the doctrine of Sovereign Immunity, the governmental agency (Fire Department) and it's employees are immune from lawsuits in many instances.
The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.
Best of luck,
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