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Is cop or city liable for negligence?

Riverside, CA |

Suspect got arrested and put inside a police car. Cop failed to belt in the suspect. On their way to police station, another car hit the police car, causing injuries like facial lacerations, broken bones, and soft tissue damages? Police car was going at the speed limit. The other car turned left without yielding to on coming traffic.

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Attorney answers 10


It depends, really. This person needs to contact a personal injury attorney ASAP.

Ms. Berjis is licensed to practice law in the State of California. The laws of your jurisdiction may differ and thus this answer is for informational and educational purposes only and is not to be considered as legal advice. Since all facts are not addressed in the question, this answer could change depending on other significant and important facts. This answer in no way constitutes an attorney-client relationship.


The answer is possibly. The primarily responsible vehicle will be the one which caused the collision; however, if there is any liability against the police for not putting a belt on him, then he needs to file a government claim ASAP before the time expires. He should contact a personal injury attorney right away so that he does not waive any potential rights against the government agency.

Marc Lazarus


I agree that the injured party needs to obtain representation from a California personal injury attorney as soon as possible. The suspect sustained serious injuries and sorting out who is at fault is, as you correctly surmised, complicated. Both could be potentially liable and there are tight time frames and specific legal requirements for bringing any claim against the police. There are many personal injury attorneys listed on this web site under Find a Lawyer.

Merry Fountain is licensed to practice law in Indiana. She can be contacted at 1-888-242-HURT. This is not legal advice and it does not create an attorney/client relationship. It is legal education intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. If the question does not include important timeframes and facts the answer could change. Merry Fountain strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state.


A lawyer will go after all negligent parties.


It is possible for the injured party to claim damage against the police. However, it is best to consult a personal injury lawyer so the injured party can be assisted further. Good luck


This needs to be addressed within 6 months of the injury.


Contact and consult with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible.


You might very well have a case here. There are "canned" procedure manuals used by many if not most police departments in California, and those manuals require that officers secure the safety harnesses on cuffed suspects placed in the back of patrol cars. The officer's failure to do this could be considered negligent precisely because of what happened here. DO NOT DELAY in retaining an attorney to make a claim for you - a formal notice to the cop's employer must be made within six months of the accident.


You definitely have a case against the offending car. You may also have a case for negligence against the policeman, however, the policeman also has immunities that arise out of his job and short statute of limitations which you have to strictly observe. I suggest you hire a personal injury lawyer that is familiar with auto accidents and governmental tort liabilities. 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.


There are several potential claims that can be made here. First, the injured party could potentially open a claim against the at fault driver, assuming he or she has insurance. Second, if they do not have insurance, alternatively, the injured party could open a claim with his own insurance under the uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage provisions. Lastly, depending on the facts and circumstances, viable claims against the officer/ arresting agency may also exist.

However, with regard to any potential claim made against the officer/arresting agency, the injured party must be aware that personal injury claims made against governmental entities require the proponent to file an administrative claim with the government office or agency within 6 months of the injury prior to a lawsuit being filed. See, California Government Code Section 911.2. This represents a very short window and is vastly different from the limitations period for any claim or suit against the at fault driver. For non-governmental accidents resulting in personal injuries, the limitations period is 2 years from the date of the injury. See California Code of Civil Procedure Section 335.1.

The injured party should obtain local representation as soon as possible from a competent California personal injury attorney.

Tyler R. Campbell is licensed to practice law in California. He can be contacted at (619) 564-8877. This answer is for informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice. This answer in no way constitutes the formation of an attorney client relationship.

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