Last night, my girlfriend and I were rear ended by a intoxicated off-duty police officer and he fled approximated 1/2 mile from the scene before his vehicle stalled out. The officer was arrested for DUI and "hit and run". Also my girlfriend was taken to the hospital by an ambulance and I was driven to the same hospital after questioning and a statement at the police precinct. Also my vehicle was later claimed to be "totalled". I just wanted to hear some experts advice on my delicate situation at hand and find out what would be the possible spectrum of minimal and maximized judgements? (ie. insurance, personal lawsuits, and etc.)
The delicate situation is the one the off-duty police officer now finds himself in. Also, he is the one who needs advice from attorneys concentrating their practices in DWI defense.
But I digress ...
If your insurance has already totaled your car, they should litigate on your behalf against the policy of the drunk driver. You should speak with your insurance company and see if they will assist you in this. If you have a local attorney you trust, you should also raise this issue with him or her.
Your girlfriend should speak to a personal injury lawyer if her injuries warrant it.
Christopher I. Simser, Sr,
269 West Jefferson Street, Second Floor
Syracuse, NY 13202
To soon to say. You need to establish "serious injury" as that term is defined in the Insurance Law in order to recover for pain and suffering. Be sure to submit no-fault insurance claims to the carrier for the car you were in within 30 days to get your lost wages and medical bills paid. Consult a personal injury lawyer.
You have the right to sue the intoxicated police office for the damage to your car if your insurance doesn't take care of it. If your girlfriend is injured, she can bring a personal injury action against the police officer and the owner of the car he was driving. If she thinks she might sue, she should probably have an attorney file a "notice of claim" immediately against the municipality that employed the police officer, which will protect your right to sue the municipality, although that appears to be a long shot.
You can contact CCRB or Civilian Complaint Review Board but since he was off duty there is little if anything they can do. Also a suit against the city may be fruitless because he was off duty. (Suits against the city need a 90 day notice of claim). Suing him and his personal insurance carrier may be your only option to recovery money damages for your girlfriend's medical and pain and suffering and damage to your car. You will probably get a good presuit settlement since he was clearly at fault but get a good Personal Injury lawyer to put it into suit just in case. One would have to check for asset first like if he owns stocks, real estate, cash, etc. Get copies ofall the accident reports now!
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