Police officers are not immune from legal action if they cause an accident through their own negligent driving. Only in the event of a genuine emergency, such as pursuing an alleged offender or when rushing to attend a dangerous incident, might they have a reason for driving more recklessly. If a police car has hit you because the officer driving the vehicle was drunk, or on the phone to their spouse, or just not paying attention, then you are perfectly justified in pursuing compensation through a claim directed against the city police department.
The process involved in filing a claim against any Texas government entity is more complicated than that against a private individual. With help from a personal injury lawyer it is certainly not impossible, as long as you have sufficient proof that the police officer(s) was to blame for the accident.
How to File a Claim for an Accident With a Police Car
You will need to file a notice of claim directly with the city police department, setting out clearly why you think the department should pay compensation. The statute of limitations for claims against Texas government entities is much shorter than similar claims made against private defendants. You have 3 months to file your claim and it must be submitted with all supporting documentation. You should get a response within a few weeks, either admitting fault with payment of the compensation you have demanded, or a rejection of the claim.
A rejection by the department does not mean you cannot pursue your chance of obtaining compensation further as you can then file a personal injury lawsuit against the department through the civil court with the same evidence as you had before. There are specific time limits imposed on you in which you have to file the lawsuit.
How to Prove that a Columbus City Police Car Was at Fault
Proving that the damage to your vehicle and any injuries were caused by the way the police officer(s) were driving is essential if you are to have any chance of obtaining compensation. You will need the same sorts of proof of negligence as you would if you had been hit by any other driver. The only evidence you are unlikely to rely on is a police report itself. You may be able to provide any of the following as evidence to justify why you are demanding compensation from the police department:
- eye witness statements from anyone who saw the accident happen;
- photos of the damage done and the relative positions of the two vehicles after the crash;
- video footage that might have been recorded by a nearby surveillance camera;
- police dash cam footage from the police car if you can have this requested by a lawyer;
- doctor’s report of injuries;
- report from a car repair yard describing the damage done.
Get Help When Filing a Claim Against the City
Winning a claim against any government agency is never easy. To have any chance of obtaining compensation from the Fort Worth police department or any other police department you should use a personal injury lawyer to represent your interests.
You are welcome to complete the free case evaluation form below to ensure your claim is on the right track.
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 Fort Worth, the state
Government of Texas, or any other party, you may not be entitled to any compensation.