Who is Responsible for Damages When a Person is Injured in a Collision with a Police Car?
Accidents involving police cars happen more often than people realize but they are not handled the same way that a typical car accident would be handled. That said, while the rules might be someone different, police do not have immunity. Keep reading to find out how these cases can be handled and contact Law Offices of Fernando D. Vargas at 909-982-0707 if you are in need of a free legal consultation.
Do Not Admit Fault
After any car accident, you should never admit fault. You should give the police the bare minimum information, such as your name and driver’s license information. This can be hard to do in any circumstances, but particularly difficult when the person you are involved in an accident with is a police officer. They might even try to intimidate you into admitting something. Whatever the truth is, let them know that you need to talk to your personal injury attorney before discussing the specifics of the accident.
Ways These Cases Are Different
Other than the fact that you might feel intimidated by dealing with a police officer rather than a civilian, these car accident cases can be different in many other ways too. First, it is likely that the police officer is covered by the city’s insurance policy. That means that the claims process can be different.
The city might take much longer to review your claim – this is one reason you need an attorney, so we can keep the pressure on. You might also have a shorter window of time in which to file the claim. This is why you should contact an attorney sooner rather than later – if you miss that window then you are out of luck.
Fault Depends on What the Police Vehicle Was Doing at the Time of the Accident
In most car accidents, fault is determined by determining who was negligent. While this is true of accidents involving police cars as well, it can be more complicated than that. This is because of a police car’s “emergency vehicle” exemption that allows them to take actions that would be illegal by other drivers, such as speeding, running red lights, running stop signs, not yielding the right of way, and not signaling.
If the police officer is A) responding to an emergency call and B) using their lights and sirens, then they might be exempt from any accidents they cause. However, if either of these is not true then they can be held accountable. These are complicated cases that make many drivers feel uncomfortable. That is why we recommend contacting an attorney as soon as possible. You can reach Law Offices of Fernando D. Vargas at 909-982-0707 now for a free legal consultation.