City Employees Injured In Waukegan Fire Department Car Accident By Washington Street and Sheridan Road
Pedestrian Accident - June 26, 2022
City Workers Injured In Car Accident Involving Waukegan Fire Department Near The Intersection of Washington Street and Sheridan Road
WAUKEGAN, ILLINOIS (June 26, 2022) – Two city employees were injured in a Waukegan Fire Department car accident by Washington Street and Sheridan Road.
Lake County police officials are saying that the accident took place around Thursday. Two city employees were walking when they were hit by a Dodge Durango SUV owned by the city fire department.
The drive of the Dodge Durango SUV was attempting to turn left from Washington Street and was not responding to an emergency call at the time of the collision.
Paramedics were called to the scene of the collision in order to help the two victims. A full investigation remains ongoing at this time.
Liability In Waukegan Fire Department Accidents
Accidents with emergency vehicles are far more common than many people may realize. According to the National Safety Council, in the year 2020 around 180 people were killed in car accidents with emergency vehicles. Most of the deaths occured with police vehicles, followed by ambulances and then followed by fire trucks. There are a number of factors that can make fire department vehicles particularly dangerous.
- Fire trucks and other emergency vehicles are often responding to emergency calls.
- The driver of an emergency vehicle responding to an emergency call can make all sorts of maneuvers that would otherwise be illegal such as speeding or driving down the wrong side of the road.
- Larger trucks often have substantial blind spots that can obscure the presence of pedestrians and those in smaller vehicles.
Determining civil liability in an accident involving an emergency vehicle can be a difficult task. The Illinois’ Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Systems Act provides a great deal of immunity to emergency drivers involved in accidents. However, the emergency driver must have been responding to an emergency call. They must also have their lights and sirens on to warn the public about their presence. Even when these conditions are followed, an emergency driver could be liable for “willful and wanton” conduct. See, for example, Supreme Court of Illinois case Wilkins v. Rhonda Williams, Indiv. And, Inc.
When an authorized emergency driver is not responding to an emergency, they are required to follow all traffic rules just like every other person on the road. They must exercise due care to avoid hitting pedestrians. Pursuant to Illinois Vehicle Code (625 ILCS 5/11-1002), all drivers must yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing at a marked crosswalk. If a driver hits a pedestrian crossing in the roadway, they can be held at fault through a civil claim.
If the driver of an emergency vehicle was working at the time of a collision, the municipality or company that they were working for could be held at fault. Generally speaking, employers are liable for the wrongful acts of their employees – insofar as those employees were working within the course and scope of their job duties. For example, the driver of a fire department vehicle may have been responding to a non-emergency call. There are a number of steps that should be taken after any pedestrian accident.
- Eye witnesses should be interviewed.
- Medical records should be preserved.
- Surveillance footage should be sought.
- A thorough, independent investigation should be conducted.
Any person that is injured due to the negligence of a Waukegan Fire Department driver may be able to seek aid through a bodily injury claim. Damages in a civil claim can help cover lost wages, medical bills and pain and suffering. Many victims don’t realize the full extent of their injuries for several weeks or months after an accident. A pedestrian accident attorney can examine all of the unique facts of your case and let you know what your legal options are.
Investigating A Lake County Fire Department Accident
We at Horwitz Horwitz & Associates extend our best wishes to the Waukegan city employees injured in this accident. Any person that may have more information about what happened should reach out to police. This was a preventable accident that should not have taken place. There needs to be some accountability and steps taken to prevent similar accidents.
Have you or someone that you care about been injured in a Waukegan car accident? There are a number of laws designed to protect your rights. Our team of pedestrian safety advocates are here to answer any questions that you may have. We care deeply that accident victims get the medical and financial support that they need in order to recover. Whether you just have legal questions or need any type of support after an accident we are here for you. You can reach out to us anytime at (312) 564-4256.