A single-vehicle car accident in St. Joseph caused such severe damage to the car that both occupants had to be extracted from the vehicle. The crash raises an interesting question: What happens if the extraction causes an injury?
Driver and Passenger Extracted from Vehicle After Crash
The incident happened just after 9pm on Friday, May 9, 2021. The driver of a Chevy Corvette was speeding and lost control of the vehicle. It went off the road and hit a pole and a fence at 1805 South Belt Highway.
Both the driver and the passenger in the car were unable to get out after the crash. The St. Joseph Fire Department had to extract them with the Jaws of Life by cutting through the roof of the car.
How Vehicle Extractions Work
In some car crashes – especially those that involve high rates of speed – the collision will bend and crunch the car so much that the people inside it cannot get out. In some cases, they cannot move, at all.
To get them out, police and fire departments use the Jaws of Life, a multi-attachment tool that uses a generator to power hydraulics that can cut, open, and push apart the metal and plastic components of a car. While this is a huge upgrade from the crowbars and circular saws that first responders used to rely on to extract trapped drivers, if not used correctly, the Jaws of Life can cause serious injuries.
Negligence Can Lead to Liability
The Jaws of Life are designed to minimize the risks to the people inside the vehicle. However, if used recklessly or negligently, they can still end up hurting the occupants in ways that they would not have been hurt from just the crash.
For example, if firefighters do not take appropriate precautions, they may end up amputating a driver’s hand while they cut off the car’s door.
In cases like these, the victim should be able to recover compensation from the negligent operator of the Jaws of Life.
Negligent Training is Another Option
Another legal argument that victims can make is that the first responder who used the Jaws of Life and hurt them was not properly trained.
The Jaws of Life are a complicated piece of heavy machinery. First responders should be trained to use it not only effectively, but safely, as well. If they are not, a very foreseeable outcome is that they will use it improperly and hurt someone that they were supposed to be saving.
Because these are departmental failures, victims could find themselves filing a personal injury lawsuit against the fire department or police department that did not adequately train their workers.
St. Joseph Car Accident Lawyers at the Smith Law Office
The personal injury and car accident attorneys at the Smith Law Office serve victims in St. Joseph, Kansas City, Springfield, and the rest of western Missouri. Contact them online or call their law office at (816) 875-9373.