Police Car Accident
Accident With a Police Car—Now what?
Sometimes, the unthinkable happens. People get hit by police cars. Police are there to protect and serve. But, police are people too. They make mistakes and accidents happen. What if you are in an accident with a police car? Can you file a car accident injury claim?
Police Car Accident Immunity
Police are not completely immune when they cause an accident. Yes, police car accidents are different than other car accidents. Additionally, there is a shorter time limit to file a claim against a government entity, like the police. These factors can make it hard to get compensation if you’re injured. You’ll want to talk to an injury lawyer as soon as possible after a police car accident.
What to do if a Police Car Causes An Accident
Call the police to report the accident. It is not okay for the officer that caused the accident to also generate the accident report.
If there are injuries, request an ambulance or seek the proper medical care. Your insurance (in PA) covers a certain amount of medical expenses.
Gather all the information and talk to an injury lawyer. It is important to talk to a lawyer as soon as possible to preserve your rights and any evidence.
In many states, including Pennsylvania, governmental agencies are protected by general immunity. In Pennsylvania, general immunity falls under Chapter 85 Title 42.
The Pennsylvania Sovereign Immunity Act provides legal protections from certain lawsuits. In other words, if the officer strikes you whilst they are in pursuit of a fleeing vehicle, they might be protected by general immunity. But, general immunity does not apply when an officer is negligent. Just because an accident involves a police officer does not make him/her immune by default.
When are Officers NOT Immune?
A police officer is not immune if they are patrolling without their sirens or lights on. They can be liable for the damage and injuries sustained.
Officers can be held liable if the following occurs:
- running a red light
- failure to yield at a stop sign
- driving the wrong way
- failure to properly signal
- making an illegal U-turn or left turn
- negligent driving
Additionally, when a police car hits a pedestrian the cause is usually a traffic violation. This can also eliminate police immunity. If there is any question at all, talk to an injury lawyer.
Do You Have a Case?
Police officers can cause accidents, just like any other driver on the road. If a police officer was negligent and hit you with their cruiser, you may have a legal case. Officers can be held responsible if they caused an injury and were not in pursuit with their sirens and lights activated. Even if an officer was engaged in a pursuit, talk to an injury attorney.
You may be eligible to receive compensation for:
- loss of work
- medical bills
- dental bills
- potential future earning loss
- loss of consortium
- future medical bills
- pain and suffering
Who Pays For Medical Bills and Damages?
In a car accident with a police cruiser, your own insurance will cover property damage. It doesn’t matter who caused the accident. Property damage is physical damage to your vehicle.
When you have injuries from an accident with a police car, who pays the medical bills? In PA, every driver with insurance has at least $5,000 of personal injury protection. This can help cover your immediate medical expenses.
Limitation of Injury Claims
Claims against the state of Pennsylvania are capped. Additionally, claims against the local government are also capped. Don’t wait too long to talk to an injury lawyer or file a claim.
How Long do I Have to File A Claim?
There is a time limit to file a personal injury claim. In traffic accidents involving police, people have 6 months to file a written notice of intent. The best thing to do in this type of situation is to talk to an injury lawyer for advice.
Hire an Injury Lawyer
It is important to talk to an injury lawyer as soon as possible about your situation. Your lawyer will need to work fast to preserve any evidence and file your claim.
Kane & Silverman in Philadelphia
Call us today at 215-232-1000 to discuss the details of your case in a free legal consultation. Talk to one of our lawyers and understand your options. At Kane & Silverman, you don’t pay us unless we recover money for you.