Police Car Accident
Police officers are humans like anyone else. Though it is up to the police to protect civilians, they can make mistakes while on the job. This can include causing a car crash. What happens in police car accident claims?
Accidents do not discriminate and unfortunately can happen to any driver. What happens if you are hit by a police car? Can you sue a government entity, like the police? If you have been in a police car accident in Pennsylvania, here is the information you need.
What Are My Rights?
Most people are not aware of the laws when it comes to being hit by a police car. If a member of the police force is driving negligently, you still have rights.
Police officers have “government immunity” under the state law of Pennsylvania. This means that they are immune from liability in many situations. However, this does not apply to negligence.
Police have government immunity if they:
- are in pursuit of a fleeing vehicle
- have their sirens and lights on
A police officer will not be granted immunity if their negligent driving results in an accident if:
- death or injury results from negligent driving by a police officer
- the accident happens while patrolling with no sirens and lights on
- they are not in active pursuit
Can I File a Police Car Accident Claim?
As always, every situation is different. In some cases, you may be granted compensation if you were hit by a police car. If the accident happens under the terms that grant the police officer immunity, you might not have a claim against them. However, if the accident happens because of police officer negligence, you may be eligible for compensation.
Time Limit to File a Claim
You can file a claim for a car accident injury claim against police or other government entities in Pennsylvania. In claims against a government entity, you must file a notice of intent to sue within six months of the accident.
Notice of Intent to Sue
This notice is not the same as filing a lawsuit – you are expressing intent to file a lawsuit in the future. This protects your right to seek compensation for your injury. But, the six-month time limit is important. If you miss it, you are forever barred from filing a claim for the injury.
Will My Insurance Cover Anything?
If you have car insurance in Pennsylvania, even state-minimum insurance, you have some coverage for your injuries. Often, it is not enough. In some situations, your insurance coverage is the only thing that will help you. What will your insurance cover after a police car accident?
Personal Injury Protection
Every Pennsylvania car insurance policy includes personal injury protection. In essence, this coverage immediately covers medical expenses – up to your policy limits. State-minimum coverage will pay the first $5,000 of your medical expenses.
Medical treatment isn’t cheap. It doesn’t take much for medical expenses to go above your personal injury protection coverage. Your own uninsured/underinsured insurance can cover you. But, not everyone has this optional coverage.
People Without Insurance Coverage
If you don’t have insurance coverage, there is a state program to help in certain situations. The Pennsylvania financial responsibility assigned claims plan pays certain medical expenses. Pedestrians, bicyclists, passengers, and others are eligible for this program.
Do I Need A Lawyer?
In any situation where an accident occurs and results in damage or injury, talk to a lawyer. Additionally, claims against government entities are complicated. They will likely put up a fight instead of admitting negligence in an accident. An experienced attorney will know how to represent you against these agencies. Don’t try to do it alone, talk to a lawyer for help.
Free Legal Consultation
Getting in a car accident is a scary and traumatic experience. When the accident involves a police officer, it can be even more intimidating. At Haggerty & Silverman we want to help you get the money you deserve. Our experienced injury lawyers will give you a free, no-pressure consultation. Get free legal advice for your specific situation.