A Los Angeles Fire Department ambulance struck and critically injured a pedestrian in Downtown Los Angeles the afternoon of Sept. 21. According to a KTLA news report, the person who was hit at the intersection of Fifth Street and Broadway, sustained life-threatening injuries. The victim was transported to an area hospital. Officials did not say whether the ambulance was transporting anyone at the time of the collision. No other information was released. Los Angeles Police Department officials are investigation the incident.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the injured victim of this Los Angeles pedestrian accident. We wish this individual the very best for a speedy and complete recovery.
Crashes Involving Ambulances
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which analyzed data from 20 years of crash statistics, nationwide there are 29 fatal accidents involving ambulances resulting in about 33 deaths each year. While one-fourth of those fatalities are inside the ambulance at the time of the crash, a majority of fatal crashes involving ambulances involves a driver or passenger of another vehicle who is killed. Also, each year in the United States, there are about 4,500 crashes involving an ambulance, 34 percent of which result in injuries.
What Caused This Crash?
Based on this news report, there is not much information regarding how or why this major injury crash occurred. There are still a number of unanswered questions here. Was the LA Fire Department ambulance transporting a patient at the time? Was it an emergency situation? If so, were the ambulance’s lights and sirens on to indicate that the vehicle was making an emergency transport? Was the ambulance’s driver distracted or otherwise negligent at the time? These are just some of the important questions that must be examined in order to determine what occurred and why.
If the ambulance’s driver is determined to be at fault, both he and his employer, the city fire department, can be held financially responsible for the injuries, damages and losses caused to the injured pedestrian. Injured victims in such cases may be able to seek compensation for damages such as medical expenses, lost income, hospitalization, permanent injury, disability, cots of rehabilitation and pain and suffering. An experienced Los Angeles personal injury lawyer will also tell victims that any injury claim against a governmental entity must be filed within 180 days of the incident.