"Would recommend them to anyone who needs a personal injury attorney!" - Adam R.

As emergency vehicles rush through the streets in times of crisis, there’s always a risk you’ll collide with one.

Police cars, fire trucks, and ambulances play an important role in assisting California people during emergencies. But when one of these vehicles is activated to head out to an emergency, the danger of road collisions rises significantly.

As a motorist, you’ve probably waited for an emergency vehicle to go racing past you. Have you ever seen someone nearly collide with one? Yikes! A close call can be frightening. 

If you’re the unlucky motorist who collides with an emergency vehicle, it’s a confusing and stressful situation. You may wonder whether emergency vehicle drivers are immune from liability for accidents. Who will pay for your damages?

On this page, the team at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers will clear up the confusion about accidents with emergency vehicles. Although these accidents can be very complicated, you’ll be relieved to know that you still have options for seeking compensation for your medical bills, car damage, and more.

What Qualifies as an Emergency Vehicle?

First, you should know that California has rules about when and which vehicles are considered emergency vehicles. The average person can’t just flash their headlights in traffic and call themselves an emergency vehicle!

Emergency vehicles should be clearly marked with their affiliated agency or company and:

  • Must be en route to a verifiable emergency
  • Must be equipped with a sirens
  • Must have emergency lights with a red light visible from 1,000 feet in front of the vehicle

Under California vehicle laws, other drivers should yield the right of way to emergency vehicles and shall move to the right side of the highway or right curb of the road as quickly as possible when emergency vehicles need to pass. This law applies to other road users too, like scooters and pedestrians.

California’s Move Over Law requires all motorists to move over a lane or, if they are unable to do that safely, slow down when they see the flashing lights on certain vehicles. This includes ambulances, police vehicles, fire trucks/vehicles, Caltrans vehicles, and tow trucks.12

That’s right. Tow trucks are considered emergency vehicles, so if you fail to move over for them, you may be violating the law. A Move Over violation can be up to $1,000 in fines and can add points to your license.

Yes, You Can Make a Claim Against an Emergency Vehicle

Please don’t assume that you can’t take action against an emergency vehicle after a crash. Although emergency vehicles receive some protections under California law, they are not immune to injury claims.

Generally speaking, there are three situations where someone can successfully win a claim against the organization that is responsible for an emergency vehicle:

  1. The emergency vehicle’s driver caused the crash and, at the time, was not activated to respond to an emergency.
  2. Although the emergency vehicle was responding to an emergency, they had not properly used their lights/siren.
  3. The emergency vehicle’s driver was driving negligently and endangering public safety.

Just like anyone else on the road, an emergency vehicle’s driver could be driving drunk, driving distracted, driving drowsy, or driving so aggressively they pose a danger to other motorists. Your lawyer can help you investigate the circumstances and see what was happening at the time of the crash.

Types of Emergency Vehicle Collisions on California Roads

There are many types of emergency vehicle collisions involving a wide variety of vehicles, not to mention pedestrians, bicyclists, and scooter riders. We handle personal injury cases that involve road accidents where our client is severely injured, including:

Wrongful deaths, when the death arises from a traffic accident

What to Do After an Emergency Vehicle Collision

After an emergency vehicle accident, things may be very chaotic. When you try to interact with a government office, tow truck company, or insurance carrier, you may get bounced around to various officials who don’t necessarily listen to your concerns about the situation. But at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers, we’re here to listen.

You can contact us for a consultation about your accident. In the meantime, follow these steps to protect your ability to seek compensation.

Request medical attention right away.

Seek health care for your injuries and follow your doctors’ orders. Continue seeing your doctors without skipping appointments. Consistency in treatment, including showing proof of treatment, is key because insurance companies want to see this kind of proof before they pay.

Get the driver’s information and the police report

Request the emergency driver’s information at the scene of the accident. Of course, they may need to leave the scene quickly in order to handle the original emergency. Report the accident to the police and get a police report.

Report the accident to your insurance company.

Notify your insurance company about the accident and the involvement of an emergency vehicle but avoid giving a detailed report until you speak to your lawyer. 

Give all information to your lawyer

Provide all of the information you have to your lawyer. Time is of the essence, because your lawyer may be able to recover camera footage that helps your case before it’s lost.

Beware of sharing any photos or videos online

Don’t rant about your accident online or share photos of what happened. Your attorney can help you decide how to handle social media and other types of communications that could impact your case. 

Making Insurance Claims Involving Emergency Vehicles

The organization that owns or manages the emergency vehicle can be ordered to pay for medical costs and other damages you have incurred. They will almost certainly turn to their insurance coverage to cover your damages.

City governments, tow truck companies, and other organizations with emergency vehicles carry large insurance policies because they know road accidents happen. By making a claim, you’re simply protecting your health and financial stability. 

Still, the insurance carrier may try to fight your claim. They could try to minimize your injuries, blame you for the accident, or question your motives. They’re hoping you’ll accept a lowball settlement or just go away.

At Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers, we know how frustrating it can be for someone to seek compensation after an accident with an emergency vehicle. We will stand up for your rights and take a compassionate approach to your case as we assertively demand compensation.

An attorney can provide valuable services like:

  • Determining who’s involved in your accident
  • Making a strong case for your compensation
  • Helping you get your vehicle repaired
  • Getting your medical bills paid
  • Negotiating a valuable settlement or going to court if necessary
  • Reducing your stress so you can rest and heal

Why You Need a Lawyer After an Emergency Vehicle Collision

Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers can handle the complicated legal issues involved in your emergency vehicle collision so that you can put all of your focus and energy on recovering from your injuries. We’d like to help you ease the worry and stress about your situation.

Here’s how the process works. During your initial consultation, we’ll discuss everything that is going to occur over the following weeks and months. This includes the potential outcome that you can expect from your case, as well as things that you might be able to do to keep your claim strong. You’ll have the opportunity to ask questions all along the way.

Next, we’ll investigate the emergency vehicle crash itself, gathering the valuable evidence you will need for your case. This is the key to succeeding and getting the outcome you deserve. We’re very experienced at creating a solid case for compensation in these types of cases.

We’ll help you create a strong demand letter that tells the other side what you’re requesting and why you should receive it. There will likely be a period where we go back and forth, negotiating with the insurance company to get you the best possible level of compensation. The negotiations usually go pretty smoothly when you have a lawyer involved because the insurance carrier realizes you’re serious about winning a high-value claim.

Ultimately, we will either come to a settlement or the other side will insist on going to court. Most of the time, emergency vehicle accident cases can be resolved without going to court. However, sometimes an insurance company thinks a judge or jury will be sympathetic to them. 

Your accident lawyer from Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers will be there to help you maximize the value of your claim every step of the way. Hiring a personal injury lawyer after an emergency vehicle accident is a smart move because you won’t owe us a penny until the conclusion of your case.

How to Start Your Claim The Right Way

As an injured person in an emergency vehicle case, it’s your responsibility to collect and present evidence that persuades the insurance company to write you a check. So it’s important to start your case off on the right foot. 

Choose a lawyer who can offer you a no-obligation free consultation even if you’re not sure who’s liable for the collision with the emergency vehicle. Here are some things you can do next.

At Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers, you’ll find a sympathetic group of talented lawyers who have been winning accident cases for decades. We understand how much this accident has shaken up your life and we’re here to help you get the resources you need to move forward. Contact us now for a FREE online case evaluation.

Having an Attorney Will Get You More!

The Insurance Research Council found that:

Accident victims with a lawyer receive an average of 3.5 times more than those who are unrepresented.

We Handle Your Accident Claim So You Can Focus on Your Life

After an emergency vehicle accident, contact the attorneys at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers. We handle many areas of the law, including collisions involving emergency vehicles in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and more. We believe you should be able to focus on recovering while we handle the legal details. 

We truly care about California’s injured people. Contact us today for a free online case evaluation or call 877-380-8852.

If you've been in a serious emergency vehicle accident and have suffered:

Broken bones





Then speaking with a San Francisco Emergency Vehicle accident lawyer at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers during a free consultation - or completing our FREE online case evaluation - is the first step on the road to recovery.

Let's Get the Settlement You Deserve!

Why risk sabotaging your SF emergency vehicle accident claim by trying to handle it alone? Get your no cost, risk-free case evaluation. And get peace of mind.

If at any time within the first 30 days of signing with Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers you are not 100% satisfied with the quality and care of service you receive from our attorneys, we will cancel your contract at no cost so that you can seek different representation. No questions asked.

How to Protect Yourself and Your Claim after a Emergency Vehicle Crash in SF

Despite your best efforts to drive safely, car accidents happen. When a crash does occur, it is important to know what to do to protect your rights under California law. If you've suffered major injuries from your San Francisco emergency vehicle accident, you really should be looking to hire lawyer, but if you need more time to make this decision, here is our list of what you can do to help build the strongest car accident claim possible.

Get Medical Care ASAP | If you sustained serious injuries, chances are high that you were taken by ambulance to San Francisco General. If not, going to the ER to report your injuries and get them treated is the very first step to building a solid car accident claim. If your injuries weren’t that serious, you should still see a qualified medical professional and follow their instructions on what to do for the best physical recovery.

Gather Evidence | If you don’t have a emergency vehicle accident lawyer yet, you’ll have to do some of the investigative legwork in your case yourself. Ideally, you (or someone) took photos of all vehicles involved and the scene of the accident just after the accident. Also, it’s important to get insurance information from the other driver and any eyewitness contact info. Once you are home from the hospital, you probably want to reach out to witnesses to make sure you have a solid case for fault against the other motorist. Make sure you get a copy of the San Francisco Police Department traffic collision report. Also, take pics of any visible injuries or scarring you may have as a result of the wreck.

Avoid Talking to the Insurance Adjusters | They will try to get your private information [like your Social Security Number] and use your statements to discount any settlement offer they make. It’s much less stressful and way more fun to say “Call my lawyer!” instead of answering endless questions.

Don’t Use Social Media to Announce Your Emergency Vehicle Accident | Avoid this at all costs! Social media posting may seem harmless, but it can provide the other side with more information they can use to minimize your claim’s value. Even the most benign posts can be twisted into a negative for your case.

Let a San Francisco Emergency Vehicle Accident Lawyer Take the Wheel | Allowing an experienced SF auto accident attorney handle your case will not only increase the money in your pocket, but it will reduce the stress in your life. Speak with one of the SF emergency vehicle accident professionals at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers today.

Torey R.

San Francisco Truck Accident Client

"Sally Morin proved to be an invaluable asset in my recent personal injury case. She is extremely knowledgable regarding cyclist laws and works very hard to be sure that you are fairly compensated in every way that you deserve. I strongly recommend Sally and her team to anybody who wants no nonsense and no BS legal representation."

Lyssa G.

Truck Accident Client

Sally did an amazing job settling my personal injury automobile accident case. I was stopped on the freeway and rear-ended by a texting man in a big truck (don’t text and drive). Aside from the wonderful and unexpected settlement, the best part was that instead of dealing with the slimy insurance settlement case worker (who wanted to show up at my work to verify my injury), I dealt with Sally and her knowledgeable and kind staff. It gave me peace of mind to be able to deal with someone with so much integrity who had my interests in mind."

Check out Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers' San Francisco Client Reviews and Testimonials

The San Francisco personal injury legal team at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers gives unparalleled legal advice and customer-service. You can see in our reviews all the reasons...

Why Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers has over 150 5-star ratings from California traffic accident clients:

We only do serious traffic accidents. We limit our practice strictly to major injuries resulting from car, motorcycle, bicycle and pedestrian, semi-truck, delivery driver, rideshare, and emergency vehicle accidents. This allows the team to focus on developments in a single area of law and develop an unmatched level of expertise.

We don’t take every case. We don’t accept “nuisance claims” from potential clients who are motivated purely by financial gain or revenge. Our clients are people whose lives have been significantly disrupted by their injuries.

We are the perfect lawyers for people who don’t want one. Our clients tend to be people who didn’t want a lawyer or at least never thought they would need to hire one. But, the severity of their accident gave them no choice. We won’t litigate unnecessarily or drag you to a trial you never wanted. We aren’t doing this for our own egos, we are doing this for you! If you’re going to be stuck with a personal injury lawyer, it may as well be us.

We are attentive and responsive. You are not just a case number at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers. With our “quality over quantity” approach to cases, you and your case will get the full attention it deserves. We WILL return your calls and emails and keep you updated on the status of your case.

We collaborate with you when big decisions need to be made. It’s your case. We will check with you on important decisions like settlement offers, filing a lawsuit or going to trial.

We increase your “net settlement” value. Not only will we work to get you the highest settlement possible, but we will also negotiate with your healthcare providers to reduce their charges, so you end up with more of your settlement money.

If the idea of working with a customer-centric San Francisco car accident lawyer who gets quick and solid results for their clients appeals to you, your next step is to get a FREE case evaluation from our San Francisco car accident team.

Not Sure W​​​​hat To Do Next?

Complete Guide on what to do after an accident in San Francisco

Some of what you will get in this guide:

  1. What you can do immediately after an accident
  2. How to get the help you need to recover after an accident
  3. Helpful resources and contacts in San Francisco that you can reach out to
  4. Understand your personal injury case and how you should handle it
Tammy T.

"Sally's calm and professional demeanor gave me peace of mind when I was so frantic after a major accident. Having such a busy schedule, Sally's team took the ball and ran with it putting my worries at ease. Highly recommend!"

We Get Results in Emergency Vehicle Accident Settlements

YES! We get results in difficult and complex accident cases! Here's an example of a $250,000 San Francisco accident settlement the team at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers secured for one of our clients. We have lots of stories to share. We invite you to check out more accident settlement results like these and see the results we’re getting for the people of San Francisco. Our reputation, effectiveness, and 5-star customer service has accident victims contacting us every day.

Are We Right For Your Emergency Vehicle Accident Case?

If you’re not sure about hiring a San Francisco personal injury lawyer for your emergency vehicle accident case, we understand. You have to feel comfortable with your attorney because you’re trusting them with something very important: your future. Find out more here about whether Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers is the right firm to handle your truck accident case. Take a look at our long list of happy reviews and testimonials from other people right here in the San Francisco Bay area. We’re here to help people just like you!

After an accident with a emergency vehicle, contact us to start the road to recovery and secure compensation for your injuries.

Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers'
California Personal Injury Blog

Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers is an all female team of customer-focused, five-star California personal injury attorneys who exclusively handle traffic accident settlement negotiation. They have California offices in San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Jose, and Oakland.

Are You Ready to Start the Road to Recovery?