• Kenneth Powell

Police Officer at Fault for Car Accident

There are instances where police officers are at fault for a car accident. Though such individuals are law enforcement, they are strictly held to the same legal standards, traffic laws, and consequences as any normal citizen unless it is an emergency situation (which will be discussed below). Some police officers fully accept the responsibility for their mistakes, while others try to go above the law because of their occupation.


If a negligent police officer is involved in a crash, they deserve the same repercussions as any other person. At the Powell Law Firm, its team of personal injury attorneys will fight for justice and compensation for the innocent injured involved.


Unsurprisingly, an accident involving a police car is common. Car accidents happen every day. The unique issue with such accidents is that a negligent police officer may attempt to decrease the level of their punishment. The philosophy of the Powel Law Firm is that clients should not receive less compensation or have a compromised trial/settlement due to the nature of the defendant involved. When a police car hits an innocent individual or group of individuals, a tragedy could occur. Auto accidents are a very scary thing.


Fortunately, as stated above, a majority of officers are people with a high moral code and will take responsibility and admit fault. This is what should happen in every accident where a police officer is a negligent party.


Severity of Accident

Severity of Accident


As with any car accident, the severity of the injury and car damage will determine the legal consequences of a police car accident. If a police car hit someone badly and they are seriously injured, not only can a civil case be opened but also a criminal case against the officer.


Every car accident is different. Some victims could have permanent injuries such as body pain or even amputation, while others could have a quick recovery. In the worst possible case, a victim becomes paralyzed, enters a vegetative state, or experiences a wrongful death.


The Role of the Insurance Company


Every police department has insurance on all police cars under its jurisdiction. It would be illegal if they did not. Departments understand that car accidents can happen and that they must be prepared in case a bad situation occurs.


With a St Louis auto accident lawyer, victims can ensure they get the proper compensation they deserve based on the severity of the accident. The lawyer can be in contact with the insurance company on the behalf of said clients if requested.


Costs Associated with Police Car Accidents


Central expenses that are the result of a serious car accident are medical costs and loss of income. These can be astronomical and cause a massive financial burden on victims and their families.


When injured individuals should be concerned with recovery and healing, often they are stressed due to the financial instability caused by the accident. Monetary compensation can be such a comfort in these life-changing circumstances.


Unfortunately, another cost that must be considered is funeral expenses in the worst-case scenario. Both traditional burial and cremation cost thousands of dollars. Cremation is often way more affordable than burial, but the deceased should receive the arrangements they so wished if expressed.


An individual, who experienced a wrongful death, should at the very least be laid to rest properly. The last thing a surviving spouse or family member should worry about is the financial burden of burying their loved one.


Accident Protocol Should Be Fair and Unbiased


When a negligent police officer is involved in an accident, a police report written by another officer should be filed. There should be no bias in explaining the accident on official documentation. Determining fault can be a tricky thing concerning an accident with a police officer and police car.


Accident Causes


Distractions and Recklessness of Police Officers

There are many possible causes of why an accident involving police cars occurred. Most officers know better than to be distracted at the wheel or drive recklessly. This is unspoken and required behavior. If a police officer were to be texting and operating a police vehicle at the same time resulting in the crash, this is a serious issue. Careless actions should be immediately examined. Similarly, if a police officer is driving recklessly, he or she will suffer the consequences.


Many would think police officers know how to behave on and off the job, but some attempt to push the boundaries or exceed them. Just like every other occupation, there are good and bad police officers. When a bad officer is caught, protocol will have them punished or even removed from the department based on the crime committed.


High Speed Police Car Chase

What if an accident involving a police car occurs because the officer is in a high-speed police chase on hot pursuit of a suspected criminal? If the officer hits and injures an innocent vehicle, the injured victim or victims can hire a firm to file a claim on their behalf. Evidence is crucial when it comes to police car accidents.


On the opposite spectrum, if an officer unintentionally injures the suspect, the suspect will still be responsible for his or her own criminal actions but can try to seek some form of compensation for the injury. The court will most likely not be as understanding. An injury can be a life-changing event, therefore even if a criminal is hurt, he or she should attempt to receive some sort of reimbursement.


Police Car Emergency Assistance

What if a police officer is responding to an emergency? If the officer is still negligent and at fault, the victim or victims have the right to claim damages for medical bills and/or vehicle damage. It may be more difficult to prove in court due to the nature of the situation, but a claim can be filed.


Even with emergency vehicle exemption statutes in place, victims can be represented by a personal injury attorney and plead their case. The challenge with an authorized emergency vehicle accident is these vehicles have the authority to break normal driving laws including running a red light or passing a stop sign as time is often of the essence. Traffic laws do not apply to emergency vehicles.


Producing satisfactory evidence for a police-involved accident can be difficult as what is considered negligent is a grey area with police officers. This is why professionals like the Powell Law Firm are at hand to be of service to those injured or even worse, killed.


The Claim Process

The Claim Process


Once a client requests a Powell car accident attorney, a free case evaluation and free consultation will be conducted. If the case is selected, the attorney-client relationship will begin. From the start, there will be transparent and clear communication. They will walk the client through the whole process of filing a claim.


Based on all evidence available, the attorney will recommend the best legal options to move forward with. The evidence could include unbiased police reports, medical records, photographs, legal precedent writings, or even the accident scene. The option selected could be a civil trial or a settlement depending on accident magnitude and client preference. Each individual case is different.


If a trial occurs, there will be testimony. The extent of what the officer or police department involved says can dictate judge and jury opinion. This is why plaintiff compelling arguments are essential.


Compelling Arguments

The goal of every Powell Law Firm lawyer is to share a compelling argument in a court of law. Whether the case is a personal injury lawsuit or wrongful death lawsuit, every attorney will work tirelessly to fight for their client. A serious accident requires aggressive legal action.


Accident claims are taken very seriously by Missouri law. Negligence is something that will be punished. The state law and rules are straightforward. The challenge is that Missouri "follows the at-fault rule based on a varying percentage of ‘fault’ for each party involved in the accident." Some officers may attempt to minimize their percentage of fault.


If one was injured and received medical attention, they can file an insurance claim. To ensure that they are fairly compensated, personal injury lawyers will negotiate the number of damages received. Such reimbursement is entitled. Negligent officers should be held responsible for their actions.


Why Powell Law Firm?


The Powell Law Firm is a group of experienced and passionate attorneys who want to serve. At the heart of the Powell way is care and compassion. Clients are collaborators, not just a case number. The firm always has victims' best interests at heart.


Powell's attorneys will investigate all evidence and are determined to help clients achieve their legal goals associated with their or a loved one's accident. After an injury or wrongful death, there can be a lot of suffering and pain. No number of damages or criminal sentencing can take away such pain, but justice and a sense of closure can be offered.


This justice is exactly what drives the Powell Law Firm team every day. The team will provide a high-quality experience for every client and their family. With a variety of legal services, Powell has built a strong reputation in the St. Louis community.


To contact the Powell Law Firm, one can call (314) 470-1374. Claim details can be emailed or faxed to (314) 786-0777. Receive a free case evaluation and free consultation today. We also handle other accident-related concerns, such as those involving peeing on yourself in a car accident.