How to Handle an Accident with a Police Car
Comedies sometimes portray a distracted driver running into a police car. Depending on the situation, it could be the start of a budding romance, a hilarious interaction with an officer, or some other scenario that makes you laugh. In real life, an accident involving a police car is not funny.
Police Car Accidents Are Often Serious
Traffic accidents of varying circumstances have been the main cause of police deaths for the last several years, except 2018, when more officers were killed by gunfire. Accidents involving police cars happen for a variety of reasons, but many are due to the police responding to an emergency.
Law enforcement officers have to multitask when responding to an emergency situation. They are distracted by many things as they rush to the scene of an emergency, the scene of a crime, or chase down a suspect. There is always the risk that innocent motorists, cyclists, or pedestrians could become involved in an accident.
Police/Civilian Accidents: Who Is at Fault?
An accident involving a police car is similar to other accidents in that the fault is placed on the negligent driver. The exception when a police car is involved has to do with what the police officer was doing at the time of the accident. In some situations, the officer may have been responding to an emergency or chasing a suspect.
Many traffic accidents involving law enforcement are due to speeding, not stopping for a stop sign or red light, failing to yield right-of-way, not using the turn signal, making an illegal left turn or a U-turn, and driving the wrong way on a divided highway. If the officer violates traffic laws due to an emergency situation, he or she may be exempt from violation.
Filing a Claim Against a Police Officer
When an officer of the law is suspected of being at fault in an accident, you can file a claim. First you must give a written notice of the accident to the local government department that handles claims. You can find this information on the county or municipality website. There will be information on the site instructing you how to handle the claim.
Your best course of action is to hire a good lawyer to represent you if you are involved in an accident with a police car and sustain major injuries. Tison Law Group has expertise in a variety of legal areas, including personal injury. Located in Tampa, FL, our lawyers are committed to providing excellent legal service with honesty and integrity to clients. Schedule an appointment with us for a free initial consultation.