A police officer and another driver were hospitalized after being involved in a Maryland car accident. According to a WUSA 9 news report, the crash occurred on Branch Avenue in the Brandywine area. Officials say the officer was attempting to turn left with the sirens on when a northbound car crashed into the police vehicle. Both the officer and the driver sustained non-life threatening injuries. It is unclear if the other motorist will be cited for failing to yield to the emergency vehicle.
Under normal circumstances, drivers who are turning left must yield to oncoming traffic. Motorists who fail to yield when turning left can be held accountable for the injuries and damages they cause. However, right-of-way laws change when an emergency responder turns on lights and sirens.
Under Maryland Statute 21-405: “On the immediate approach of an emergency vehicle using audible and visual signals that meet the requirements of § 22-218 of this article or of a police vehicle lawfully using an audible signal, the driver of every other vehicle, unless otherwise directed by a police officer, shall yield the right-of-way.”
Motorists who cause accidents by failing to yield to emergency vehicles may be held accountable for the damages they cause. Injured police officers, firemen and ambulance drivers may file a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver to receive support for:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- The cost of rehabilitation services
- Loss of earning potential
- Pain and suffering
- Other related damages
Filing a claim against a negligent driver is not the only option available for emergency responders. Anyone hurt in a work-related car accident can also seek support through Maryland workers’ compensation insurance. Workers’ compensation benefits can include support for medical bills and a portion of the wages lost while healing. An experienced Waldorf Maryland personal injury lawyer will be able to guide injured victims in such cases through what can become a complex legal process and help ensure that their legal rights are protected.