Determining fault in an accident involving a police car can be challenging and depends on the specific circumstances of the collision. Filing a claim against a government entity is often complicated, and there may be strict legal requirements, time limits, and constraints on the damages you can recover.
Judd Shaw Injury Law can help you navigate the legal process to ensure that your rights are protected. Contact our legal team today at 1-866-909-6894 or fill out the contact form to schedule a free case review.
Who Is At Fault in a Collision With a Police Car?
Determining fault in any auto collision tends to be difficult. In general, liability is determined by examining the actions of both drivers involved in the crash to determine which driver was negligent.
However, in accidents involving police cars, there may be additional factors to consider. In some cases, police officers may be exempt from certain traffic laws while performing their duties or responding to an emergency call.
At the same time, it should be noted that officers are not automatically and absolutely exempt from all consequences. Responsibility is determined based on the case’s specific facts, and exemption only applies if the officers act within the scope of their duties and if their actions are reasonable under the circumstances.
When Do Police Officers Have Absolute Immunity?
Police officers are not automatically exempt from charges in the event of a police car accident. However, there are certain legal protections and exceptions that apply to police officers when performing their official duties.
For example, police officers are often given certain immunities when performing their duties. This includes immunity from liability for actions taken in good faith and in accordance with their training and department policies.
Additionally, police officers are often given certain privileges, such as the ability to disregard certain traffic laws when responding to an emergency.
Motor vehicles owned by the government
In New Jersey, the law allows a governmental agency, such as a police department, to be held liable for personal injury or property damage caused by a governmental employee’s negligent operation of a government-owned motor vehicle.
This means that if you have been injured in an accident involving a police car, and the officer was at fault due to his or her negligent operation of the vehicle, you may be able to file a personal injury claim against the government agency responsible for the officer and vehicle.
Exceptions for government employees
In the State of New Jersey, a government employee can be held personally responsible for injury or property damage caused by gross negligence.
However, the law also states that government employees cannot be held personally liable for any injury or damage that results from their official acts or omissions, as long as they were acting within the authority allowed by their position.
Here are 4 key points that this law addresses:
- If a police officer, causes injury or damage while performing official duties and acting in good faith within the scope of his or her employment, he or she cannot be held personally liable for any resulting harm
- The officer’s exemption as a government employee is not absolute and has limitations
- When a government employee acts with gross negligence or willful misconduct, he or she may be held personally liable for any resulting harm
- The government entity that employs the individual may also be held liable for damages caused by the employee’s gross negligence or willful misconduct
When Can an Officer Be Held Liable?
Police officers can be held accountable for their actions when they act outside of the scope of their duties or in a manner that is grossly negligent or reckless. “Gross negligence” is generally defined as a reckless disregard for the safety of others or an extreme deviation from the standard of care that a reasonable person would exercise in similar circumstances. In such a case, the officer can be held personally liable for any damages or injuries caused.
Furthermore, if a police officer’s actions are found to be criminal in nature, he or she can face criminal charges just like any other individual. This can include charges such as reckless driving or vehicular manslaughter if someone is killed as a result of the officer’s actions.
Can You File a Wrongful Death Claim for a Police-Involved Accident?
Losing a loved one in a car accident is heartbreaking and devastating. If someone you love has passed away in a crash involving a police car, you have the right to seek justice on behalf of your spouse or family member.
While nothing can ease the pain of losing your loved one, a wrongful death lawsuit can help provide financial support for their medical expenses, funeral costs, and other related expenses, as well as compensation for the emotional pain and suffering that comes with such a loss.
The process of filing a wrongful death lawsuit can be complex and emotional, so it is important to work with an experienced personal injury lawyer who can guide you through the legal system and hold those responsible for your loved one’s death accountable. You need the support to get through this with compensation at the end of the tunnel.
Should You Hire a Lawyer for an Accident Involving a Police Car?
Dealing with the physical and emotional aftermath can be incredibly challenging, and the legal system can be intimidating and complex. So hiring a lawyer can help alleviate some of the stress and anxiety you may be experiencing.
A personal injury lawyer can provide you with compassionate and empathetic legal guidance and support throughout the entire process.
Here are a few reasons why hiring a lawyer can be beneficial:
- Investigation: A lawyer can conduct a thorough investigation of the accident, collect evidence, and interview witnesses to build a strong case on your behalf
- Negotiation: A lawyer can negotiate with the police department’s insurance company to ensure that you receive a fair settlement offer that adequately compensates you for your losses
- Trial representation: If a settlement cannot be reached, a lawyer can represent you in court and fight for your rights before a judge and jury
Ultimately, hiring a lawyer can help level the playing field and ensure that the opposing parties do not succeed in taking advantage of you. Remember, you don’t have to go through this alone. A compassionate and experienced personal injury lawyer can be a valuable ally and advocate during this difficult time.
Judd Shaw Injury Law Can Help After a Police-Involved Car Accident
Judd Shaw Injury Law can help you if you or a loved one has been injured in an accident involving a police car in New Jersey. When you entrust your case to us, we will work diligently to investigate the circumstances of your accident, gather evidence, and build a durable claim to pursue compensation for your injuries and losses.
Being injured in an accident can be a traumatic and stressful experience, and we empathize with your needs. Judd Shaw Injury Law’s team is thus committed to providing compassionate and personalized legal representation to help you navigate the entire legal process.
To schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys, call Judd Shaw Injury Law at 1-866-909-6894 or complete our online contact form. During the consultation, we will discuss the details of your case, answer any questions you may have, and help you understand your legal options.