If a police car hit me at an intersection, can I/should I seek a lawsuit against the police department at fault?

The insurer claims found the cop was at fault. Car damage/payment has been sorted but I was encouraged by family to go after the PD in a lawsuit. I maybe suffered some back pain, which was documented and treated, and for the most part has subsided (though I’ve always had neck and back tension and problems since). It’s been over a year now.

Asked on November 3, 2014 under Personal Injury, California


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Prior to filing a lawsuit for negligence against the police department, it may be possible to settle the case with the police department's insurance carrier.

Your personal injury claim filed with that insurance carrier should include your medical bills, medical reports, and documentation of any wage loss.

Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  The medical reports will document the nature and extent of your injury and will be used to determine compensation for pain and suffering which is an amount in addition to the medical bills.  Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.

If the case is settled with the police department's insurance carrier, NO lawsuit is filed.

If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers from the police department's insurance carrier, reject the settlement offers and file a lawsuit for negligence against the police department.

If the case is NOT settled with the police department's insurance carrier, your lawsuit for negligence against the police department must be filed prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you will lose your rights forever in the matter.  California has a 2 year statute of limitations in personal injury cases.  This means that your lawsuit for negligence must be filed before the second anniversary of the date of the accident or you will lose your rights forever in the matter.

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