If You’ve Been Injured in a Police Cruiser Accident, Who is Liable?

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police cruiser accidentToday, on Interstate 81 headed toward Lancaster, a Pennsylvania state police officer was making a sudden lane change when, all of a sudden, the driver hit another vehicle. Police said that a Chrysler was traveling when the police vehicle activated its emergency lights and traveled from the left lane toward the Chrysler. The Chrysler slowed down but another car, a Toyota truck, was unable to brake and struck the Chrysler from behind. Typically, in struck-from-behind car accidents, a driver can be held liable for damages, but in this case it was determined not to be their fault since the police officer was making an abrupt change. Nobody was charged in the accident.

However, this is not the case for all accidents involving police cruisers. Everybody is subject to mistakes on the roads at one time or another, and law enforcement officers are not immune. The truth is, negligence happens from everyone at times: from vehicle drivers, to police officers, to truck drivers and more. But what happens when an officer causes an accident and possibly injuries?

After the Accident 

Just because a police officer might have caused your accident, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take your health seriously. No matter who caused your police cruiser accident, your health is top priority and you should always seek immediate medical care because it will not only help your case later down the line, it could also save your life if you are seriously injured.

From there, you want to act quickly to preserve all the details of your case and attempt to receive damages that are owed to you. Public entity cases are brought against those who are government officials, and police officers fit this bill. In this regard, you want to move quickly and hire an experienced attorney to help you file your claim. Police officers value their reputations and their jobs and, when an accident occurs, they could receive a citation or even a suspension due to their negligence. The reason why you want to act quickly is because you want to alert the government that you have suffered an injury and give them a chance to respond to your requests. In many cases, your claim will be denied, which will bring you to a lawsuit where you can make your case in hopes to be compensated for your injuries.

Because police officers have broad powers to carry out their duties, if they were in their line of work when the accident has occurred, they may try to make a case that the accident was not actually their fault and pin liability on another source. Officers do, however, have a duty of care to drive in a reasonably prudent manner to avoid a police cruiser accident at all costs.

In these cases, you may find that the odds are stacked against you and that officers have an incentive to blame the victim depending on how severe the accident was. Meet the deadlines you have to, and ensure that your rights are being protected by an attorney that cares for you. At Edelstein Martin & Nelson, we care about your case and will help you get the best results in your time of need. Call us today at 888-208-1810 for more information.

Sources

Police vehicle’s abrupt lane change causes minor accident on Interstate 81

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