Can I Sue a Police Department in Augusta if My Car is Hit by a Police Officer?
If you ever watch any reality cop shows, you’ve seen how often cops get involved in high-speed chases. They happen more often than we may think. The officers blast their sirens and flash their lights. They do what they can to let us know they’re on the way.
However, even police officers make mistakes. Most of the time, they’re dealing with stressful situations. They’re trying to keep the public safe. This means that, at times, they may put some people in danger.
If your car is hit by a police officer, you may or may not have a legal claim. It really depends on whether or not the officer can claim governmental immunity. As long as they’re on duty, they enjoy widespread protection from civil liability. This means you may have no choice but to seek coverage under your own insurance policy.
There are a few exceptions to this rule. It really comes down to whether or not the officer was acting with discretion or not.
Your Augusta Accident Lawyer Will Check to See if Immunity Applies
In order to enjoy governmental immunity, a police officer must be acting within the scope of is job. Your attorney is going to have to prove that the officer’s actions were discretionary. If the court deems that the cop was acting within his ministerial duties, he won’t be held responsible. And this means that police department won’t be held responsible either.
Ministerial actions are behaviors that are required as part of the officer’s job. If they get a call to chase a criminal, they have no choice. The same is true if they’re responding to a dangerous crime scene. Cops are protected for ministerial duties.
If the action is discretionary, they may be held liable. These are actions that they carry on daily but aren’t emergency in nature. Immunity usually won’t apply in these situations. It depends on whether or not the office was negligent.
Your Charlotte accident lawyer can also prevail if he can show that the officer was acting recklessly or maliciously. These acts are not covered by governmental immunity.
How Does Your Augusta Car Accident Lawyer Prove the Officer is Liable?
To recover from the police department or the officer, your attorney must prove negligence. If the court determines that governmental immunity doesn’t apply, he’ll be subject to the same rules as every other defendant.
Your lawyer will have to show that the officer is negligent. This means he has to show the following:
- The officer owed you a duty of care
- He breached this duty
- You were injured
- Your injuries were caused by his breach
Police officers protect and serve. They still have a duty of care toward other drivers. If an officer acts recklessly, he breached this duty of care.
Who Will Your Augusta Car Accident Lawyer Name in Your Lawsuit?
Your attorney is going to have to decide which parties to pursue. He’ll have to do his homework to find out what all the possible defendants may be. It’s important that you name all defendants at the beginning because you won’t get a chance to add them later.
Your attorney will consider naming the following:
- The officer who called the accident
- The police department
- the city, county and state departments
- Any third party involved in the accident
- The mechanic shop that served the police vehicle
Several of these defendants may be held responsible for your damages. Some of these damages include:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
- Permanent disability
Your car accident attorney in Augusts wants to settle your claim. You don’t want to take your chances in the courtroom against a police department. Plus, trials are expensive and time consuming. It makes more sense for everyone to try to come up with a figure that is fair.
Contact an Augusta Car Accident Lawyer Today
If you’ve been hit by a police cruiser, you should call an Augusta car accident lawyer. Your attorney is going to have to prove two things: that the officer wasn’t covered by his governmental immunity at the time of your accident and that he was negligent.
Call and set up your free initial consultation. You can sit down with an attorney and talk strategy. He can also let you know what your chances of winning against the police department may be.
The consultation is free and you pay nothing until you win your case.