You don’t expect to have an accident with a city police car, but it is always a possibility. Barring emergencies, police officers are not allowed to drive dangerously. Dangerous driving can result in damaged cars, serious injuries and big bills to pay.
You have the right to file a claim for compensation from the Minneapolis City police department, or any other police department, if you have been hit by one of their patrol cars. Winning a claim against the city is not easy, but if you have evidence that the police officer driving the car that hit you was to blame, persistence and help from a lawyer could pay off.
How to File a Claim for an Accident With a Police Car
City police departments can be sued, but the process for doing so is more complicated than suing a private individual. Government entities hide to a certain extent behind the notion of ‘sovereign immunity.’ They can still be legitimately sued through the civil court but only after filing an initial ‘notice of claim’ directly with the police department.
The notice of claim should include all the details you have about the accident. That means the place, date, time, what happened and why you think the police officers in the patrol car were at fault. Provide any proof that you have as well as receipts and bills to back up what you are demanding in compensation. There will be a relatively short window of opportunity to present your claim of 180 days from the date of the accident. The department should respond with either a payment or a rejection of your claim. This is not the end of your pursuit of justice as you can then proceed with a personal injury claim through the civil court against the police department.
How to Prove that a City Police Car Was at Fault
You won’t have any luck obtaining compensation unless you have sufficient proof that the police officer driving the patrol car that hit you was to blame. Typical reasons for an accident with a police car are:
- driving too fast;
- failure to indicate;
- failing to yield the right of way;
- distracted driving;
You can still obtain proof of negligent driving with evidence such as:
- eye witness statements from anyone who saw the accident happen;
- photos of the damage done and the positions of the two vehicles at the crash scene;
- video footage taken by a security or traffic monitoring camera located nearby;
- a report by the car repair yard after an inspection of the damage done to your car.
Get Help When Filing a Claim Against A City
It is a challenging prospect attempting to sue the city’s police department for negligence. You don’t have a lot of time to put together a convincing case. That’s why it is important to talk to a personal injury lawyer with experience of suing the city before you file your claim.
You are welcome to complete the free case evaluation form 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 Minneapolis, the state Government of Minnesota, or any other party, you may not be entitled to any compensation.