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What recourse does a citizen have if hit by a police officer's car during a stolen vehicle pursuit?

El Cajon, CA |

Daughter was stopped and waiting to turn. Vehicle being chased passed by at great speed, one police car passed, and both went on wrong side of road. 2nd police vehicle was already on wrong side of road and struck my daughter's vehicle. Officer admitted fault to hitting her, Driver of stolen vehicle was eventually arrested. She has insurance, but no gap insurance, no rental clause, has back pain, no medical insurance, had missed some work, had to borrow vehicle, has 3 kids, (youngest was also in vehicle), and not a lot of extra money. And her car was totaled. What recourse does she have?

Attorney Answers 13

Posted

Retain a local personal injury lawyer quickly, as there are short notice requirements in these cases.

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Posted

In general there would have to be some showing of negligence or gross negligence on the part of the officer who is doing the driving. This is something that you should discuss in person with a local personal injury attorney.

http://lawofficeofwilliamdaley.com/san-diego-personal-injury-attorney

I will be happy to speak with you at no cost with a FREE phone consultation if you have a San Diego or California matter. Please call my office at 619-238-1905 or visit my website at www.lawofficeofwilliamdaley.com

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Posted

You need to file a claim immediately. Claims against public entities have strict and very short time limits. Contact one of us immediately. Best of luck to you and your family.

Free consultation. Direct line- 855-637-0938 .24/7. Video/Phone/In-Person. aalok.sikand@gmail.com. I provide my clients with honest, thoughtful advice and diligent, vigorous representation in a number of practice areas. I serve Ventura, Los Angeles, Orange, Santa Barbara and San Diego Counties. I wouldn't take any of my answers on avvo.com as legal advice since there are still too many factors that need to be discussed before I can give you a reliable opinion.

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Posted

In addition to considering making a claim for negligence against the police officers and their government employers, which your daughter must file within six months of the accident, speak to an attorney about filing a claim for restitution in the criminal case against the driver who was fleeing the police, and or crime victim's compensation from the State of California (http://www.vcgcb.ca.gov/).

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Posted

Get a local lawyer and let him advice you . Do it fast as the Statute of Limitations Clock is already ticking. You have six months from the day of the accident to file against the police and the City. You have two years to file against the arrestee's insurance policy. Best of luck.

This answer is provided by California Accident Attorney Manuel A. Juarez, Esq., 510-206-4492. Abogado de Accidentes de Autos de California: 510-206-4492. Abogado de Lesiones de Accidentes de Autos, provides answers of a general context. These answers are not intended to form an attorney client relationship. Oakland Abogado Accidentes Autos, Abogado de Lesiones Personales, Abogado de Accidentes de carros, Abogado de accidentes de Peatones, practices in Antioch, Berkeley, Concord, Oakland, Hayward, Martinez, Newark, Richmond, San Francisco and San Rafael. El abogado de lesiones y heridos en accidentes de autos, is licensed only in California. This information is good only in California and it is not to be taken as legal advice on car accidents, personal injury, divorce, bankruptcy or in any other type of situation. Esta respuesta es del Abogado de Accidentes de Autos, Abogado de Lesiones Personales, Abogado de Heridos en Accidentes de carros, Manuel A. Juárez, 510-206-4492. Abogado Hispano de Accidentes, Abogado de Divorcios, Abogado Latino de Accidentes, Abogado de Accidentes de Oakland, Hayward, San Francisco, California. Estas respuesta son solo para información general y no consisten en consejo legal sobre divorcios, mantención de esposas, mantención de hijos o bancarrotas. Las respuestas son comentarios legales que no forman una relación de abogado y cliente. Manuel Juarez, Esq., esta licenciado solo en el Estado de California.

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1 comment

Andrew Lawrence Weitz

Andrew Lawrence Weitz

Posted

I'm assuming CA is like NY, in that the fleeing felon’s carrier will disclaim because the damage took place during the commission of a crime. Still, the is a good case against the police department. The argument must be that they acted with reckless disregard for the safety of the drivers on the road by engaging in pursuit in a heavily trafficked area (that last detail is not in the fact pattern, but I surmise it's true).

Posted

She has 6 months from the date of injury to being a claim against the PD.

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Posted

Your daughter should immediately consult with a San Diego based personal injury attorney. There are short time frames involved in making a claim against a government entity. However, there may also be other sources of recovery including those in her own auto insurance policy.

The responses here are not intended as legal advice. Do not rely upon the responses herein. Consult an attorney in your geographic area. Strict time limits apply and failure to act within those time limits will result in a complete loss of all rights to seek legal redress.

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Posted

You should immediately consult an attorney immediately. I claim must be filed within 6 months of the incident against the appropriate government agencies/entities. Also given there can be immunities that apply in these situations, your daughter may have a viable uninsured motorist claim. Lastly, a restitution order can be made in criminal court for your daughter's out of pocket damages (only)- no pain and suffering

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Posted

Well this case will be more complicated and have shorter time constraints. If it can be shown that the police officer was negligent when operating the vehicle during the chase, then yes you would have a claim. Hiring an attorney is crucial though, and it will be a lot more difficult without the advice of a professional. I suggest you contact myself or another personal injury attorney here and let us evaluate your case. Once we know the specific facts, we can paint you a better picture. Personal injurys attorneys like myself work off of contingency fees, meaning we won't charge you anything until we win you money in settlement or verdict.

The information provided here is for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter. Bergener & Associates, PLC is a personal injury practice serving accident victims and their families in the State of California only. No individuals should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any answers to questions without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice from an attorney licensed in their state. Transmission of information via this website does not create an attorney-client relationship between any attorney at Bergener & Associates and any recipient, nor is it intended to do so. The content provided does not create any warranty, express or implied. Hiring a lawyer to represent you is an important decision and should not be based solely on advertising. For more personal injury information visit us at http://www.bergenerlaw.com

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Posted

Tell your daughter to obtain needed medical care and treatment immediately and follow the doctor's advice. Do not give any statement to the adverse party or insurance company nor grant them access to any medical records. Photograph the injuries and the damage done to any property. Contact a personal injury attorney in your area as soon as possible so that you can protect your rights. You may also find it helpful to review the Legal Guides I have published on Avvo.com dealing with many of the issues you are now facing. The Guides can be accessed through my profile page on Avvo.com.

Legal Disclaimer:

If this information has been helpful, please indicate below.

Mr. Lundeen is licensed to practice law in Florida and Vermont. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Lundeen strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received.

This ans. does not create an attorney/client relationship.

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Posted

While cops are supposed to catch thieves driving getaway cars, cops are supposed to do so without harming others... which means not making the chase look like a scene from Fast 'n Furious. Police departments can be held liable and made to pay for damages caused by their lack of due care during a police chase - and that means paying for property damage and physical injuries. Should one be hurt in such an event (and one's children also be hurt), one should get medical attention and then hire a personal injury lawyer.

Fortunately, most of us personal injury types offer free consultations and take such cases on contingency no matter where the case is in California, so there is nothing to fear in calling us.

- Paul

Paul J. Molinaro, M.D., J.D.
Attorney at Law, Physician, Broker
Fransen & Molinaro, LLP
4160 Temescal Canyon Road, Suite 306
Corona, CA 92833
(951)520-9684
www.fransenandmolinaro.com / www.888MDJDLAW.com

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** Fransen & Molinaro, LLP practices in the areas of personal injury, medical malpractice, and real estate law and does so anywhere in the State of California.

Paul J. Molinaro, M.D., J.D. ... Attorney at Law, Physician, Broker... Fransen & Molinaro, LLP... 980 Montecito Drive, Suite 206... Corona, CA 92879... (951)520-9684... www.fransenandmolinaro.com / www.888MDJDLAW.com... "When you need a lawyer, call the Doctor... Call Paul J. Molinaro, M.D., J.D... Call (888)MDJDLAW." ... * This post and all others I make on Internet are for informational purposes only. None of the information or materials I post are legal advice. Nothing I post as comments, answers, or other communications should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing of this information does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. While I try to be accurate, I do not guarantee accuracy... ** Fransen & Molinaro, LLP practices in the areas of personal injury, medical malpractice, and real estate law.

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1 comment

Paul J Molinaro

Paul J Molinaro

Posted

Footnote for Manuel Juarez, Esq.... Fast and Furious is a modern day car chase movie... kind of like Bullitt with Steve McQueen for folks of your generation. - Paul

Posted

Your daughter needs to contact a personal injury attorney ASAP. It does not matter that she does not have a lot of money as most personal injury attorneys work on what is called a "contingency fee" basis. This means she does not pay for the attorney's time until or unless she recovers money.

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Posted

As Mr. Molinaro explained, the driver of the police vehicle has a responsibility to keep others on the road safe during a pursuit. That being said, just because she was hit, does not absolve her of responsibility or fault for that matter during the accident. To review her options, she should schedule a free consultation with an experienced car accident attorney to review her options and answer further questions.

She should continue medical treatment as per the advice of her treating clinicians. There may be another claim for her child as well; that would be another claim worth investigating with an experienced car accident attorney. As the previous attorneys have stated, the statute of limitations should not be ignored as she has limited time to file your claim. I wish her the best of luck and I hope that she finds the counsel she deserves.

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