Police and Emergency Vehicles

A Guttlaw ReportTM

Even before September 11, 2001, police, fire, and emergency workers were heroes to many of us. Now that is especially true. And because these workers are so important to our society, Ohio law generally makes them immune from suit for injuries which they may cause while they are acting in the course and scope of their employment. In other words, if police or firemen are on an emergency call, have their lights flashing and sirens on, they are immune from suit.

EXCEPTION

Police and emergency vehicles are not immune from suit, even when they are on an emergency call, if they engage in reckless conduct, or act with heedless disregard for the safety of others. For example, a police officer driving 90 miles an hour around a 25 mile per hour reverse curve may well be found liable due to his recklessness. But municipalities rarely settle cases before suit is filed and pretrial discovery is conducted.

NON-EMERGENCY ACCIDENTS

If the emergency vehicle is driving on the street in a non-emergency setting, then the driver must use due care just like the rest of us, and the city which employs the driver will be liable for his or her negligence.

Under Ohio law, emergency services employees are almost never personally financially liable for the damage they cause. The question is whether the municipality or local government agency will be held financially responsible for the damages caused by its employees.

Proving your case is the job of an experienced law firm like Rubin Guttman & Associates, L.P.A. We have been representing injured people hurt by medical malpractice or serious accidents for 32 years and would welcome the opportunity to have you consult with us. (For a free consultation and review of your case, please feel free to call us at 216 696-4006).

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