There are many accidents taking place in California that involves police vehicles. Victims or their families may be eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit for an accident that involved a police vehicle. The liability will depend on whether there was an emergency situation being followed up by the police officer, were the sirens switched on during the emergency, or if there was negligence on the part of the police during the incident. Below is a discussion regarding filing a wrongful death lawsuit after being involved in an accident with a police vehicle.
Responsibility of Paying for the Damages Caused by an Accident Involving the Police
According to California Vehicle Code 17001, “A public entity is liable for death or injury to person or property proximately caused by a negligent or wrongful act or omission in the operation of any motor vehicle by an employee of the public entity acting within the scope of his employment.”
If the police officer driving a patrol vehicle causes an accident while on the job, the public entity is responsible for the injuries caused to the victims. Based on the law enforcement agency, the county, state, city, or the law enforcement agency could be responsible to pay for the damages caused in the accident.
The damages caused by a serious accident could add up to thousands of dollars. The total non-economic and economic damages include the following:
- Medical bills
- Lost earning capacity,
- Pain and suffering,
- Vehicle repairs,
- Loss of consortium,
- Lost wages
Filing a Claim in the Event of Death by a Police Car Accident
According to wrongful death laws, the family member is eligible to file a lawsuit in the name of the public entity in the event of the death of a loved one.
Damages that come under a wrongful death lawsuit include:
- Burial expenses,
- Funeral expenses,
- Compensation paid to the family for the death of their loved one.
- Loss of wages that the deceased would have earned
Consulting a Lawyer for an Accident with the Police Car
Police car accidents involve more complications than regular accidents. Claims that include the state or city employees involve a different process which may take a longer period of time to complete. Besides, the delay in getting the authorities to answer your questions could add to the difficulties involved. Hence, it is advisable to consult wrongful death lawyers to deal with such cases.