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

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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

Answers:

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.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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