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?
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.
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/).
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.
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.
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 J. Molinaro, M.D., J.D.
Attorney at Law, Physician, Broker
Fransen & Molinaro, LLP
4160 Temescal Canyon Road, Suite 306
Corona, CA 92833
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."
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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
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.
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.
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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.
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.