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Can You Sue The Police In A Traffic Accident?


Normally, we think of the police as the keepers of peace and order, a force that we want to have on our side, especially if we get involved in a traffic accident where there are injuries involved and we know that we aren’t at fault. But sometimes, we find ourselves in the very difficult position of being part of an accident where the police themselves may be involved. When this happens, what are your legal options?

Accidents Do Happen

No one is perfect, and even the police, as highly trained as they may be, can sometimes make mistakes themselves, especially in the pursuit of more dangerous, important duties. For example a West Virginian motorcyclist was in the wrong place at the wrong time when the police, in hot pursuit of speeding offender who was trying to evade capture, got too close to the motorcyclist that was on the road. They nudged the motorcyclist during the pursuit, which resulted in the biker going off the road and sustaining injuries.

In a case like this, it is obvious that an accident had occurred and there was no malicious intent. The police were executing their primary role, that of attempting to capture an offender to ensure the greater public safety. During a high speed chase, a civilian got “caught in the crossfire” so to speak and was the unfortunate victim of some high speed maneuvering during an active pursuit. Clearly the motorcyclist is not at fault here, and yet at the same time, the police were just doing their job and made a mistake. What happens in a case like this?

State Administration

The activity of police officers and how lawsuits are handled varies a lot from what many people would typically expect in a lawsuit against a private citizen, or a company. The police are working for municipal and/or state governments, so a different set of rules come into play here. The issue of insurance coverage for compensation is also handed a bit differently in such situations.

One thing that does not change, however, is the handling of blame. If a police officer really is responsible for causing an injury due to negligent behavior, and there is proof of this, such as a video of the accident in question, or eyewitnesses that can attest to the fact that the injured was innocent of blame and the police—either through carelessness or poor judgement—did inflict injury, this is still a personal injury case. A good car crash lawyer still has all the usual legal tools available to pursue a case like this, it is only the administration of the finances and extra considerations for police evaluation that change.

However, for a legitimate victim of an injury in a traffic accident that is no fault of their own, everything remains the same. Regardless of whether it was another driver or a police officer, if someone else was responsible for the accident that caused the injury, this case can—and should—go to court for rightful compensation.

Attorney David Goldman has a strong belief that everyone should be treated fairly and those with the means should do what they can to bring justice in all areas of our society. That belief has led him to help Florida's injured from being taken advantage of by corporations and insurance companies. Since 1989 David Goldman has been fighting for the rights of Floridians both as an attorney and by personally supporting our community.

Can You Sue The Police In A Traffic Accident?

Goldman Babboni Fernandez
Murphy & Walsh




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