Determining liability in an auto accident involving a police car can be complex. Although police car crashes are rare, police officers can act negligently while on emergency calls or high-speed pursuit of a fleeing vehicle. If individuals other than the police car driver gets involved in such an accident, they may bring a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit.
Personal injury claims where the defendant is a police officer on duty are not the same as other car accidents. A skilled car accident lawyer will thoroughly investigate the details of the accident and assist the victim in receiving the compensation they deserve.
What if the police officer was responding to an emergency?
Police personnel is subject to the same laws and traffic regulations as civilians. They should always prioritize public safety and avoid endangering other people’s lives, even when en route to an emergency call or a high-speed chase.
Most victims don’t file a claim against the police cars as they believe emergency vehicle drivers are immune from personal injury lawsuits. However, that’s not always the case. This immunity depends on what the police officer was doing and how the officer was driving at that time. To avail of emergency vehicle exemption, the officer must fulfill the following three conditions:
- The officer was driving an authorized emergency vehicle;
- the vehicle was being driven in response to an emergency call;
- and the officer sounded a siren when reasonably necessary and flashed front red lamp lights to warn other motorists and pedestrians.
Who is liable for an auto accident involving a police car?
Under the California Vehicle code 17001, “A public entity is liable for death or injury to person or property proximately caused by a negligent or wrongful act or omission in the operation of any motor vehicle by an employee of the public entity acting within the scope of his employment.”
If the police officer committed an act of negligence and the negligence directly led to your injuries, you could file a claim against the government agency or public entity where the government employee works. The compensatory damages can include:
- Medical Expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Property damages
- Loss of consortium
Claims against government agencies have some strict limitations. Plaintiffs must file the personal injury claim with the agency within six months of the date of the injury. It is always best to consult an attorney specializing in these cases as quickly as possible.
Get The Legal Help You Need
Pursuing a personal injury claim against a police officer can be daunting for the average citizen. And attempting to handle such accident claims on your own may be frustrating and time-consuming. It is better to hire a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer who can evaluate your case and guide you about your options.
Accomplished auto accident lawyers at Yerushalmi Law Firm will fight aggressively on your behalf and use their expertise to get you the maximum compensation you deserve. We work on a No Win, No Fee Guarantee, which means if we don’t win, you don’t pay us any fees or any costs whatsoever. Call us for a free consultation today at (310) 777-7717