Late last month, a teen was hit and killed by an ambulance in Knox County. A local news syndicate reported that the young man had just began high school before the tragic accident occurred.
Apparently, the young man was spending time with his friends riding his bike on the median on US 25, near Corbin. At the same time, an ambulance was driving a patient to the hospital down US 25. The report explained that at some point and for an unknown reason the ambulance went off the road and hit the young man and two of his friends, who were also riding their bikes.
Two of the victims were taken to Baptist Regional Medical Center in Corbin. Sadly, the other young man was declared dead at the scene of the accident. He was only 14 years old, and his family had only recently moved to Corbin.
Duty of Ambulance Drivers
All drivers have a duty to pedestrians and drivers on the road. This duty includes but is not limited to maintaining their vehicles in working condition, being aware of their surroundings, and following traffic rules and regulations.
Although ambulance drivers are sometimes exempt from following all of the regulations, they must still operate their vehicle with a general awareness and care for those who are around their vehicles. While ambulance drivers may be exempt from driving the speed limit in certain circumstances, such as when transporting a patient in an emergency situation to a hospital, they must still take caution as to the other cars around them. That includes staying on the road and not going off road when there is a strong likelihood of hurting another individual. When they fail to maintain this standard of care, they may be liable to any individual that they harmed. Depending on the circumstances, the city or county government may also be liable if they hired the ambulance.
Negligence in Kentucky
In Kentucky and many other states across the country, an individual must meet certain requirements to bring a negligence claim. In the case discussed above, it is unclear why the ambulance drove off the road, but it is clear that the action severely injured two individuals and killed another.
Normally, automobile crashes fall under the negligence laws of Kentucky. When an individual has been hurt by another, he or she may want to bring a negligence claim. The individual must establish that the other driver owed a duty of care, that he or she breached that duty, and that because of the breach the individual suffered some sort of harm or damages.
Kentucky is a comparative negligence state, meaning that an accident victim's own negligence does not necessarily prevent him or her from bringing a claim. However, the amount of a plaintiff's award may be reduced by the percent that he or she was at fault.
For example, in the case above the young man's family will likely be able to bring a claim against the ambulance for driving onto the median, but the ambulance company may claim that the boy was somehow at fault for riding his bike in the median. It is important to have an attorney explain the complexities that these cases often involve in order to not have fault shifted onto an innocent plaintiff.
Have You or a Loved One Been Involved in an Accident in Kentucky?
If you or a loved one has recently been involved in an accident similar to the one described above or any other automobile accident, you may be entitled to compensation from the other party. Please contact one of our dedicated and experienced personal injury attorneys today by calling 502-583-2300 for a free consultation.
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