The "jaws of life" is a hydraulic cutting tool used by rescuers to get car accident victims free from cars that have been crunched and wedged into an inaccessible state. While it is an awesome life-saving tool, it is not a "free per use" tool. You may be very surprised to see a bill for its use, considering that it meant life or death for you. While the bill for this device is typically paid for in most states with tax dollars, that is not true of every city and state. If you are in an accident where the jaws of life is added to your emergency rescue and ambulance expenses, it may mean greater compensation for your lawsuit. Here is why.
Use of the Jaws of Life Means That the Accident Was Quite Severe
No court judge could ever argue that your case against the other drivers is unwarranted when you needed the jaws of life to get out of your crushed vehicle. Regardless of your own state of physical and mental capacity at the time, clearly the other drivers did not do enough to try to avoid you or get out of the way. Thus, your accident required extreme rescue measures. The report and the photos of your totaled car are undeniable proof that you are owed the compensation you are requesting.
The Bill for the Jaws of Life
This is not a cheap rescue tool by any means. If you were unfortunate enough to be in a city or county where the use of such rescue tools is billed to you, and your medical insurance does not cover this, then you can sue for that expense as well. Be sure to supply the original rescue services bill to your auto accident attorney and reserve a copy of it for your own records.
Damages to Your Vehicle
A car that is crushed enough to require the jaws of life rarely can be restored. However, if there were special circumstances where you were pinned behind the dash and the door could not be opened, but these repairs could have been made, then the damages done to your vehicle by the jaws of life may be factored into your compensation package.
One such example is a pregnant woman whose seat pushed forward in an accident and trapped her pregnant belly under the steering column. The car that hits the side of the driver's door makes it impossible to rescue her, and she goes into labor from the stress. The jaws of life is used to pull the woman and the unborn child from the vehicle, but the rest of the vehicle is left untouched. The door can be restored, but it will cost more because of the damage from the jaws of life. In this case, the woman could sue the other driver for the restoration of her vehicle.
If you were in a severe car accident, contact an auto accident attorney for more information on filing suit.