What Happens When an Accident is Caused by a Police Vehicle?
Car accidents leave victims with lifelong issues ranging from physical injuries to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The impact cannot be ignored, which is why the legal and civil system put procedures in place to compensate victims and to penalize those who cause accidents. What happens when the accident is caused by a police vehicle? When it comes to accidents caused by emergency vehicles, determining liability can be more complicated.
While police are not above the law, their actions are viewed through a different lens. For example, a police officer may heavily exceed the speed limit in the duty of their job. As far as police liability in an accident, it may largely come down to the capacity they were acting in and whether their actions were a good faith attempt to handle an emergency.
Emergency vehicles are afforded certain legal protections when it comes to speeding or running a red light when responding to an emergency. However, they also have a responsibility to make it clear with lights and sirens that they are engaged in an emergency response. Typically, other drivers have a legal obligation to yield to emergency vehicles. These protections, however, are not intended to free law enforcement or other emergency workers from liability.
What Should I Do After an Accident with a Police Vehicle?
After any accident, the police will investigate, which involves surveying the scene, taking pictures, and interviewing witnesses and those involved. When a police vehicle is involved, they may review information a little more closely but might also be less forthcoming with information that might work against their officers. This is why it is important for a victim to document as much as possible immediately after the crash.
The first step is to focus on the health and safety of anyone involved in the accident. Any immediate need for medical attention should be the first priority. If it is possible to do so, notes and pictures can be helpful. Also, it is a good idea to contact a car accident lawyer as soon as possible.
Washington, D.C. Car Accident Lawyers at the Law Offices of Duane O. King Help Car Crash Victims Recover Damages After Accidents Caused by Police Vehicles
A car accident with a police vehicle can be traumatic for a victim, and it also complicates a claim. A collision can cause death, lifetime disability, and extensive physical and emotional trauma. Regardless of who caused an accident, a victim deserves compensation. If you were involved in an accident that involved a police vehicle, do not hesitate to contact a Washington, D.C. car accident lawyer at the Law Offices of Duane O. King. For a free consultation, complete our online form or call us at 202-331-1963. Located in Washington, D.C., we serve clients throughout Prince George’s County, including Laurel, Beltsville, Adelphi, College Park, Greenbelt, Mitchellville, Woodmore, Greater Upper Marlboro, Springdale, Largo, Bowie, Capitol Heights, District Heights, Forestville, Suitland, Seat Pleasant, Clinton, Oxon Hill, Temple Hills, and Fort Washington.