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Can Injured First Responders Collect Damages from Motorists Who Break the Law?

Posted on in Car Accidents

Illinois personal injury attorneysSometimes helping others can prove dangerous. Such has been the case for emergency responders who are trying to assist Illinois drivers. Under Illinois law, drivers are required to move over to keep first responders safe from being struck while doing their job. Unfortunately, many motorists have still failed to comply, and far too many injury-causing accidents happen every year.

Scott’s Law

With a climbing number of incidents involving injuries to first responders, many states have employed laws designed for their protection. In Illinois, this statute is known as Scott’s Law. Scott’s Law was passed in 2002, and it is named for a firefighter who was killed while trying to assist someone on the Dan Ryan Expressway. Under Scott’s Law, drivers are required to move over (into another lane if possible), slow down, and cautiously approach areas where emergency vehicles are stopped with their lights flashing.

Due to a lack of compliance by motorists over the last few years, Illinois launched “Operation Lambert” in early 2020. This operation was designed to help enforce Scott’s Law. As a result of Operation Lambert, police have greatly increased their issuance of citations and arrests. Illinois has also increased its penalties for violating the law.

First Responders Remain at Increased Risk

Despite all of the efforts made by the state, Illinois continues to deal with motorists who do not comply with Scott’s Law. As a result, many first responders continue to suffer serious injuries or in some cases, pay the ultimate price.

When a first responder is injured or killed in a crash, they or their loved ones can file a lawsuit against the responsible motorist. While such injuries occur “on the job,” luckily, first responders are not limited to receiving workers’ compensation benefits. Since there are some things that workers’ compensation does not cover, this is good as it allows first responders to recover for more than they likely would with just workers’ compensation. Through a third-party personal injury claim, injured first responders could potentially collect damages for the full amount of their missed wages, as well as pain and suffering and quality of life considerations.

Contact a Glenview, IL Auto Accident Attorney

If you or a loved one is a first responder who has suffered an injury in an auto accident while assisting a motorist, it can have a dramatic impact on your life. You should never be left to pay the price for someone else’s negligence. The Cook County personal injury lawyers at Gruzmark Law, Ltd can help you to fight for the compensation you deserve. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, contact us at 847-729-7660 today. 

 

Sources:

https://police.illinoisstate.edu/safety/scott/

https://www.isp.state.il.us/docs/1-163.pdf

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