Collisions are not fun, but colliding with a police car? Many people have a question about what happens if you crash into a police car
If you unluckily hit a police car, there are a few things that you should know. The process is similar to other traffic accidents, with the main difference being the involvement of the police.
The nature of the police job often requires officers to drive in dangerous ways and are required to multitask while driving, including using computers, two-way radios, and more.
In most cases, when police officer is responding to an emergency, they are allowed to drive that way, and other vehicles should give them their way.
On the other hand, police who drive distractedly or recklessly can be held accountable for accidents, even during emergencies.
However, in the case of a traffic accident involving a police officer, it is difficult to get compensation, even if the police officer is at fault. Few states have laws that exempt police from prosecution, and the officers on duty and other drivers have different types of insurance. It means that compensation for damages can also be a complex and time-consuming process.
What to Do After a Police-Involved Accident?
Anyone involved in a vehicle accident should first have their injuries evaluated and, if necessary, seek medical attention. However, parties have stabilized, and the wreck is treated like other accidents. It’s essential to call the police to the scene of the accident so that an objective party can file an official police report.
Images are difficult to argue with, so capturing the accident scene and surrounding road conditions is good. Vehicle positions, road skid marks, traffic lights, stop signs, and debris must be recorded. Medical records, property damage estimates, witness statements, and personal accounts of those involved are also relevant.
If you are involved in a personal injury accident, consult with an experienced car accident attorney. It is required to report the claim to your insurance company and the police as soon as possible, and delays are common when a claim involves government officials. While insurance companies fight each other, car accident attorneys can ensure that their legal rights are protected.
Who is Responsible for Police Car Accidents?
In general, if police officers are negligent or reckless and cause an accident, they can be liable for negligence. Determining fault and liability in accidents involving police cars can be difficult.
Police officers get benefitted from powerful legal teams, personal relationships with government officials and judges, and the unwavering support of other officers.
If the police legal department denies responsibility, it can be overwhelming for the average person to fight the system.
What Happens If You Crash Into Police Care?
There may be more severe consequences depending on how you drive. You can be liable for damages if you crash into a police car without giving way or stopping.
All state laws require drivers to let emergency vehicles pass and move to the far lane when police or other emergency vehicles are coming.
Speeding, running a red light, driving while intoxicated, intentionally crashing into a police car, fleeing the scene, or breaking the law is a heinous offense and is liable for damages.
What If You Hit a Parked Police Car?
If you hit a parked police car, pull over to the side first. Once stopped, turn on your hazard lights and stay in your vehicle. If there are bystanders, ask them to call 911. When the police arrive, you explain what happened and give them your insurance details.
If you drive into a parked police vehicle, do not leave, which will worsen the situation. Keep calm and follow the above steps, and everything will be alright.
What Happens If a Police Car Crashes into Your Vehicle?
It should be made clear whether you hit the police or they hit your car, and this is proved by presenting evidence of the accident in court.
If you hit a police car and it was an accident that was not your fault, you should treat it like most accident claims. Your insurance company will be responsible for police car damage and cop injuries. If a cop drove carelessly and broke the law, there could be a case.
However, depending on the situation, emergency vehicles may be exempted.
When are Police Officers Exempted From Traffic Laws?
Most states allow exceptions to traffic laws for emergency vehicles. For example, an emergency may require police, ambulance, or fire engine to speed up or illegally overtake other vehicles when lives are in danger.
A police officer may be excused from traffic rules if-
- Responding to emergencies when accidents occur.
- Pursuing criminal suspects.
- Driving emergency vehicles.
- Displaying emergency lights and sirens.
Police officers are not supposed to break the law without good reason. If a police officer drives recklessly without any emergency and causes an accident due to distracted driving, they are liable for damages.
Police Accident Immunity
Some government agencies have successfully used qualified immunity, sometimes called sovereign immunity, to avoid paying damages in accidents where the police are at fault. Capable immunity protects governments from being sued for the actions of a government employee while the employee is on the job.
Details vary from state to state. If the government relies on it, the person must show that qualified immunity does not apply under the circumstances.
How Does the Insurance Process Work? Is it different?
The insurance process is different if you collide with a government vehicle. In most cases, a claim is filed against the state or local authority that owns the vehicle. The claims process can be more challenging than a typical car accident, so you must follow all instructions from your insurance company.
You may require to submit additional documents, such as a police or accident report.
If you are guilty of colliding with a police car, you may receive additional penalties such as fines or points.
In some states, you need to take a defensive driving course. These penalties depend on state laws and the severity of the collision.
Possible Damages in a Police Car Accident
A car accident injures you and leaves you unable to work for weeks or months. In catastrophic accidents, someone may even be permanently injured or killed. Personal injury laws allow you to seek damages after a collision, such as-
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Vehicle repairs
Is it Essential to Hire a Police Car Accident Lawyer?
You should at least consult a lawyer, even if you were involved in a minor car accident. Personal injury attorneys often offer complimentary case reviews at no risk to you. Thus, you must ensure that you work with a qualified team that understands how to help you.
Your lawyer can assist you with your case by-
- Explaining the relevant traffic laws.
- Collecting and keeping evidence.
- Determining the cause of the collision.
- Determining if the police officer who hit you acted negligently.
- Evaluating the total amount of damages.
- Filing your insurance or compensation claim.
- Manage all communication with insurance.
In the case of a police car, compensation for an accident is more complicated. No one likes dealing with city or government agencies, and you can trust a lawyer to cut through the bureaucracy and get the results.
So, what happens if you crash into a police car? No matter how accidental the crash is, dealing with police and government agencies can be intimidating. A lot of time, effort, and money is saved if your insurance company is taking care of it, have the support of a lawyer who specializes in handling car accidents, especially police or government vehicles,
Can you file a wrongful death claim after being hit by a police car?
You may be entitled to file a wrongful death claim if you are a surviving spouse, child, or parent. Your attorney can help you take responsibility for your loved one’s death.
To whom can you claim compensation if you get injured in a police car accident?
If you get injured in a collision by a police vehicle, you can ask for damages from the police officer, police department, state, city, county, or fleeing suspect who hit you.
Can you claim compensation from your insurance company?
You can get the money you need to fix your car from collision insurance. Filing a claim with an insurer is mostly easier and faster than filing a civil lawsuit.
How will you prove a police car was at fault?
The damages will tell you how your car was hit by a police car but to prove it; you need to find out if there is dashcam footage or surveillance video of the collision from traffic cameras that showed the accident.