If my wife was shot when passing a crime scene, do we have any legal recourse?

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If my wife was shot when passing a crime scene, do we have any legal recourse?

My wife was driving by a police scene. The cop at the intersection waved her to pass by and when she did she was shot by a stray bullet. She has permanent nerve damage in her leg and a huge scar on her abdomen. Is there any legal action we can pursue as a result of police having a shoot-out in a residential area or negligence of the police letting her enter the area? Should we speak to a personal injury attorney? In Harris County, TX.

Asked on September 20, 2010 under Personal Injury, Texas

Answers:

Richard Weaver / The Weaver Law Firm

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I recommend speaking to a Houston personal injury attorney.  I have a few additional questions before I can answer fully. Please call to discuss

R.D. Weaver

Attorney At Law

713-572-4900

www.ahoustonpersonalinjurylawyer.com

Nationwide Representation

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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

It would be advisable to speak with a personal injury attorney.  Your wife may have a claim for negligence against the police for allowing her to enter that area where the gunbattle was occurring.  Prior to filing a lawsuit against the police, a claim would need to be filed with the city in which the incident occurred.  The claim must be filed prior to the deadline.  If the claim is filed prior to the deadline, it will probably be denied by the city.  After the claim has been denied, your wife can file her lawsuit for negligence against the police.  If the case can be settled with the insurance carrier for the police, that option should be considered prior to filing the lawsuit provided that can be done without the statute of limitations expiring.  If the case is not settled, the lawsuit must be filed prior to the expiration of the statute of limitations or your wife will lose her rights forever in the matter.

Your wife should obtain her medical bills and medical reports and document any wage loss.  The medical reports will document the nature and extent of her injuries and will be used to determine the amount of compensation she receives for pain and suffering.  Compensation for pain and suffering is an amount in addition to the medical bills.  Compensation for the medical bills and wage loss is straight reimbursement.  Her claim should include the medical bills, compensation for pain and suffering and any wage loss.

In addition to the personal injury lawsuit, your wife should contact the District Attorney's office to press criminal charges against the shooter.


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