Emergency Vehicle Accident Claims*

We can help with your Emergency Vehicle Accident Claim*

An emergency vehicle accident claim involves making a claim against vehicles that are used to respond to accidents and many other scenarios which have resulted in a road traffic accident. Examples of emergency service vehicles include Garda vehicles, the Fire Brigade and Ambulance service vehicles.

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Even if the emergency vehicle had its lights flashing and sirens on, it is still possible to pursue a legal remedy. As these vehicles are responding to emergency calls, they are allowed certain privileges such as breaking red lights and exceeding the speed limit if necessary. However, the drivers of these emergency vehicles still must be mindful of the safety of other road users and pedestrians. If you or a family member have been involved in an accident involving a Garda car, fire engine, or ambulance it is imperative that you talk to a solicitor if you wish to pursue a claim.

Involved in an Emergency Vehicle Accident?

Being involved in an emergency vehicle accident, regardless of how serious the road traffic accident was, can be a traumatic experience – especially if you have sustained any injuries. In cases where you are involved in an emergency vehicle accident that was not your fault, there may be a legal remedy. This legal remedy you can seek by way of an emergency vehicle accident claim.

Common Emergency Vehicle Accident Claims*

In order to get to their destinations as quickly as possible, emergency vehicles may be excluded from several standard road restrictions, such as exceeding the speed limit, but they must still travel at a speed that allows the driver to maintain control of the vehicle. Even though emergency services vehicles have highly skilled drivers, they must nevertheless take steps to avoid causing an accident while responding to an emergency.

Emergency vehicles are more likely to be at fault for a road traffic accident if the vehicle does not have sirens and lights switched on. Sirens and lights are necessary in the event of an emergency where the emergency vehicle will have to drive at a higher speed than normal. This is vital to ensuring other road users are aware of the fast-paced vehicle approaching them. Furthermore, if you are involved in an accident with an emergency vehicle when their emergency lights and sirens are not signalling, i.e. the vehicle is not responding to an emergency but is still traveling on the road, you may still be able to pursue a claim.

The most common emergency vehicle accident claims are:

What do I do if I’m involved in an emergency vehicle accident?

  1. Seek medical attention

    Your health is your wealth and should be your first priority. Immediately after an emergency vehicle accident, take a second to assess yourself to determine if you have any injuries. Then check if any passengers or anybody else involved in the accident need medical attention. If you or anyone else involved has sustained a serious injury, ensure that you make an emergency call by contacting an ambulance to attend the scene.

    For minor injuries, you must remember that minor injuries where you ‘feel fine’ could progress to a more serious injury in the future. In this case, it is always better to be safe than sorry and advisable that you go to your nearest accident and emergency (A&E) or local GP to be checked out.

  2. Gather all relevant information at the scene

    It is important that you collect all the relevant information in connection with your emergency vehicle accident:

    •  Details of other driver(s)/ people involved: name, address, contact information, vehicle registration number, and vehicle insurance information. You can also offer your own information to the others involved in the accident.
    • Name and contact details of any emergency service workers at the scene – paramedics/Gardai.
    • Take a picture of the scene, from different angles; this will help your solicitor understand how the accident happened.
    • If there are any CCTV recordings of the accident, such as CCTV cameras in a nearby shop, for example, you should try to obtain this footage.
    • Dash Cam footage – if you have any.
    • Record the time and date of the accident.
    • Weather conditions at the time.
  3. Report the incident to the Gardaí

    Regardless of how minor or serious the accident was, it is important that you call the Gardai to report the accident immediately. If the accident involves a Garda member, it is still important that you report the accident to the Gardaí so that another member of the force comes out to the scene to investigate the accident.

    For minor accidents, members of an Garda Síochána may tell you that they will not be attending the scene. It may be a case where you can settle the issue yourself.  In this scenario, the appropriate information should be exchanged. In these cases, it is also important that you visit your nearest Garda station to request that they take details of the accident and to take your statement about the accident.

    For more serious accidents, where an ambulance or the fire department have been called, the Gardai may arrive at the scene to assess, take statements from the people involved and any witnesses.

  4. Contact your insurance company

    If you are the driver of the vehicle involved in the accident, it is important to inform your own insurance company, so they have a record.

  5. Speak to a bus accident claims solicitor

    If you are considering moving forward with an emergency vehicle accident claim for any personal injuries sustained, it is advisable that you speak with a personal injury solicitor as soon as possible. If you are proceeding with a claim, the first step will be submitting your claim to the Injuries Board for assessment. An accident solicitor can help you in preparing your application to the Injuries Board and ensure that you follow the process in the correct format, meaning that you can move forward with your claim quickly without any unnecessary delays.

    It is important to remember to keep copies of any expenses that you have incurred as a result of the accident. It is also imperative to retain copies of medical reports or Garda reports, where possible as you will need them when making a medical claim.

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How do I make a claim?

Once you have gathered all the relevant information in relation to your injury it is then time to move forward with your claim. It is important to use a specialist road traffic accident solicitor to help you with this.

  1. Prepare information for a solicitor

    When you decide you want to move forward with your road traffic accident claim it is important to have all the relevant information to hand when contacting a solicitor. Important information to have on hand at this point is:

    • Date of the accident
    • Location of the accident
    • Details of the party at fault – including their name, address, contact information, vehicle registration number, insurance information. If the other party left the scene and you were unable to get their details – don’t worry, there are still options for you to pursue a case
    • If any emergency services attended the scene and their details
    • Specifics of what happened
    • Details of your injuries
    • Any pictures you may have taken of the scene of the accident and/or your injuries
    • Details of any witnesses
    • If there may be CCTV in the area that may have caught the accident on tape
    • Hospitals/Doctors attended with your injury


  2. Solicitor becomes your trusted advisor

    As a solicitor is aware of the accident claims process, they can avoid any legal bumps in the road you might encounter if you did this yourself. It is their job to be your trusted advisor on all legal matters throughout your case.

  3. Solicitor obtains a medical report

    One of the most important documents in your case is a medical report. Your solicitor will ask for your doctor’s or hospital details so he can obtain a report on your injuries. This report will then be used to allow us to progress your case.

  4. Solicitor prepares the Injuries Board application

    As soon as your solicitor has gathered all the information, your emergency vehicle accident claim will be submitted to the Personal Injuries Assessment Board for assessment. Your solicitor will do this for you. Once the Injuries Board assess your claim your solicitor will revert with a suggested settlement amount. At this stage, you have a choice to accept the Injuries Board assessment or reject it and move to the next steps.

    At this point one of two scenarios will unfold:

    1. If both you and the party at fault accept the Injuries Board assessment, your case is settled and the person at fault will be ordered to pay a settlement to you.
    2. If either you or the person at fault rejects the Injuries Board assessment, then you move to the next stage and your solicitor will issue legal proceedings.
  5. Possible case outcomes

    Before you start to concern yourself with the court and everything that comes with it, it’s important to understand that only a very small percentage of cases actually make it to a courtroom.

    Settlement meetings will be arranged where a settlement can be negotiated. Most cases are settled at this point without ever having to step foot into a courtroom and remember it’s your solicitor’s job to be with you every step of the way, right beside you to ensure that your best interests are met at all stages. Your solicitor is to be your trusted advisor throughout the process and to let you focus on your recovery, as they focus on settling your case.

At Tracey Solicitors LLP, we make law accessible to all — regardless of your knowledge or experience with the claims process. For more information and a confidential discussion on your emergency vehicle accident, phone 01 649 9900 where you can speak with a member of our team straight away, or email ask@traceysolicitors.ie to tell us about your case.

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Case Settlement

If you are to proceed with an emergency vehicle accident claim you may be entitled to compensation claims for the accident and added expenses you may have incurred. These claims are called damages.

General Damages

General damages are non-financial damages such as pain and suffering and/or physical and emotional injuries following a road traffic accident.

Special Damages

Special damages are out of pocket expenses incurred as a result of the road traffic accident, for example, loss of earnings (if you are out of work), medical bills, and added travel costs as a result of the accident (for example, travel to and from the hospital). Learn more about Special Damages.

Material Damages

Material damage refers to damage caused to your personal property. For example, in a road traffic accident, the material damage would be the damage to your car.

What are the Legal Time Limits?

The statute of limitations are the legal time limits on how long you have to make a claim — these vary depending on the situation. The general rule for most personal injury cases is that the person has two years from the date of the accident or date of knowledge of the accident to make a claim for compensation. Contacting a solicitor to discuss your case will help you in determining how long you have left to make a claim.

Learn more about Time Limits

Common Emergency Vehicle Accident Injuries

Being involved in an emergency services accident, as a driver, passenger, pedestrian or cyclist can be a traumatic experience, especially if you have suffered any personal injuries. The most common injury claims that can occur after an emergency vehicle accident are:

Learn more about Injury Claims

About Tracey Solicitors LLP

We draw on more than 35 years of experience in personal injury law to provide you with expert advice and legal services.

We’re here to help you with your claim, and will work with you to ensure you understand every step of your legal journey.

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