Even though emergency vehicles in Louisiana may circumvent certain traffic laws when required, their drivers are still responsible for ensuring the safety of other motorists. For example, when going through an intersection, the lights and sirens are there to alert drivers that they need to yield the right-of-way. However, that does not mean that drivers of emergency vehicles such as ambulances, police cars and fire trucks do not have to slow at intersections to ensure they can pass through them safely without causing a car accident.
It was not reported whether a Louisiana ambulance had its lights and sirens activated when it crashed into a car at an intersection on May 22. The driver of the car that was hit claims that the ambulance went through the intersection against a red traffic signal without making sure it was safe to do so. That driver claims in a recently filed personal injury lawsuit that she suffered serious injuries in the accident.
The driver of the ambulance, West Jefferson Medical Center and Jefferson Parish Hospital District No. 1 were all named in the suit filed in Louisiana's 24th Judicial District Court. The victim accuses the emergency vehicle driver of failing to obey the traffic signal and driving recklessly, among other things. She is seeking a monetary judgment for medical expenses, loss of enjoyment of life and pain and suffering in addition to other monetary damages.
After reviewing evidence presented by both sides, the court will make a ruling regarding whether the plaintiff established that her injuries were due to the negligence of one or more of the named defendants. If liability is established successfully, the court will proceed to determine the plaintiff's claims for specific items of financial damages. Any monetary restitution awarded could help the victim recoup financial losses incurred because of the car accident.
Source: louisianarecord.com, "West Jefferson Medical Center sued over alleged ambulance accident", Kyle Barnett, July 10, 2015