Every day, police officers are patrolling the city and neighborhoods. Occasionally, accidents happen and some of those police cars are involved in accidents. Police officers are expected to drive as safely as anyone else and take responsibility for accidents that they have caused. If your vehicle was hit by a police car and it wasn’t your fault, you have the right to claim compensation from the the police department. Only if the police car was involved in an emergency situation is this liability waived.
Pursuing a claim against any city department is never easy. However, as long as you are prepared and have proof that you were hit because of negligence on part of the officer driving the police car you have grounds for a payment.
How to File a Claim for an Accident With a Police Car
You will need to file an initial claim with the police, including details of the accident, such as location, date, time, license plate of the police car and why you think a claim is justified. You should include whatever proof that the officer driving the police car was at fault that you have available and documentary evidence of damages you have incurred.
If you get no response from the department, or your claim is rejected, you have the right then to file a personal injury claim against the department using the same evidence you supplied before.
How to Prove that a City Police Car Was at Fault
You won’t receive any compensation from the police department unless you have convincing proof that one of their police officers was at fault. Unless the car was speeding because it was chasing a suspect or attending an emergency, the usual reasons for a crash are the same as for any other car accident: not yielding at an intersection, distracted driving, intoxication, reckless driving, not allowing sufficient distance behind, etc.
The best forms of evidence, assuming that the police officer involved is reluctant to admit fault include:
- Statements from anyone who witnessed the accident;
- Photos you can take of the crash scene, the positions of the two vehicles, damage done, tire marks on the road surface;
- Video footage of the accident taken by any nearby surveillance or traffic monitoring camera;
- Damage report by the car repair yard.
Get Help When Filing a Claim Against A City
Because of the concept of sovereign immunity, it can be harder obtaining compensation from a government agency like the Police Department. However, it is not impossible, you just need some legal help from an experienced personal injury lawyer and have good evidence to back up your claim.
Disclaimer: The content of this article serves only to provide information and should not be construed as legal advice. If you file a claim against the City of Detroit, the state Government of Texas, or any other party, you may not be entitled to any compensation.