Visitor Question

Firetruck caused multi-car collision?

Submitted By: A (CA)

I was involved in a 3-car accident, with one of those vehicles being a firetruck. After exiting a freeway and coming to a complete stop at a 4-way intersection, another car on my right came to a complete stop. I proceeded to enter the intersection heading straight, then I heard the siren of the firetruck heading straight into my left side.

I tried to speed up to evade the firetruck, but I didn’t have time to get out of the way. It slammed into my rear bumper from the left, causing me to swirl straight for a good 50 feet before stopping.

When I got out of my car, I noticed the car that was previously located on my right side at the intersection, was now parallel along side my car, damaged. There was an elderly woman in the backseat of that car, conscious, being taken away in an ambulance for precaution.

I was wondering, what is the most likely outcome for that car’s party (I believe they may have made an illegal right turn)? If I were to be sued by them, will their lawsuit of medical damages exceed $25,000? Is the firetruck liable for all the damage, since they hit me after I’d come to a complete stop? Any perspective you can give for this situation is appreciated.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.


Dear A,

First and foremost, you will need to secure the police report related to the crash. Police reports are the “gold-standard” when it comes to evaluating car accident liability. Within the police report will be several notations, including, but not limited to:

-Weather conditions -Diagram of the crash -List of tickets issued to one or more drivers -Types of injuries sustained by drivers and passengers -Witness names and addresses

You can be confident the driver who was issued one or more traffic citations will likely be the party upon which liability will fall. If traffic citations were issued to you as well as the other driver, liability will likely be a “draw.”

In all probability, the driver of the fire truck will be indemnified by “sovereign immunity.” Sovereign immunity means the driver of the truck and the fire department, being agents of government, can not be held liable for the injuries and resulting damages caused by the crash.

Without reviewing the amount of medical bills of the 2nd driver and passengers, it is impossible to know whether the damages will exceed twenty five thousand dollars.

In most cases, if the driver and her passengers’ medical bills exceed about eight thousand dollars, it is likely the medical damages will exceed twenty five thousand dollars. This is based on a multiple of three times medical bills; a basis used by many attorneys to compute settlement demands.

Unfortunately, if your are found to be ultimately liable, and the medical damages exceed twenty five thousand dollars, you may be personally liable for any excess. If that is the case, you would be best served by seeking the advice and counsel of an experienced personal injury attorney.

Learn more here: Multiple-vehicle Accidents

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,


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