We see police chases on television all the time. Cops racing through the streets, trying to catch the criminals. When this happens in real life, the cops blast their sirens and flash their lights. They do everything possible to make sure we see them coming.
Police officers aren’t perfect though. They make mistakes. They’re dealing with high stress situations most of the time. So, when they get into a car accident, there’s always the question of whether they’ll be liable or not.
Police enjoy something called governmental immunity. This means that, as long as they’re on duty, they enjoy protection from civil liability. So, if your car gets hit by a cop while on duty, chances are, you won’t be able to sue for damages.
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 Boston Car Accident Lawyer Has to Determine if Immunity Applies
In order to be protected by governmental immunity, a police officer has to be acting within the scope of their jobs. Your lawyer will have to show whether the officer’s actions were discretionary or ministerial.
Ministerial actions are things that are part and parcel of the officer’s job. If they get a call to respond to a crime scene, they must act immediately. If a criminal pulls a gun on the officer, he must draw his own weapon. Cops are protected for ministerial duties.
If the action is discretionary, on the other hand, the immunity may not always apply. It depends on whether or not the office acted reasonably or not. If he was acted in a reasonable fashion, chances are, his actions will be protected by immunity.
If your Boston car accident lawyer can prove that the officer was acting maliciously, his acts won’t be covered by governmental immunity. This is a very hard burden to prove. Your attorney will have his work cut out for him.
Can Your Car Accident Attorney Prove the Officer is Liable?
In order to show that the officer was liable, your attorney will have to prove negligence. Once it’s determined that the immunity doesn’t protect the officer, he’s subject to the same standard as other defendants.
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
Clearly, the police officer is meant to serve the public. So clearly, they have a duty of care toward other drivers. If he acts recklessly, he will have clearly breached this duty. Since proving injuries are pretty obvious, your attorney won’t have much issue with that.
If Your Boston Car Accident Lawyer Files a Claim, Who Will He Name?
If you do pursue a claim against the police officer for your injuries, you need to consider who’ll you’ll name in your lawsuit. Your attorney will do the research necessary to make sure you don’t leave anybody out. 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
Some or all of these defendants could be held liable for your damages. Some of these damages will include:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
- Permanent disability
Of course, he’ll work hard to try to settle your claim. It’s better for all parties involved. Trials are expensive and time consuming. It makes more sense for everyone to try to come up with a figure that is fair.
Contact a Boston Car Accident Lawyer Today
If you’ve been hit by a police cruiser, you’re going to need a Boston car accident lawyer. Your attorney is going to have to prove two things: that the officer isn’t covered by immunity 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.