Getting into an accident in Baton Rouge, LA can be scary. Things get even more concerning when the other party that you into a crash with a law enforcement officer. Even if the officer is at fault, you may worry that you won’t be treated fairly. One of the first things to do after seeking medical treatment is to contact a Baton Rouge car wreck attorney. They will be able to guide you on how you should proceed.
What to Do After Getting into A Crash with A Law Enforcement Officer
Even if you don’t think you suffered injuries, you should still see a doctor as soon as possible. Some injuries take a day or two to show up. Adrenaline can also mask pain so you may not realize you are injured until you settle down. Getting a medical report will be vital for when you file an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit. You need proof that you suffered injuries and that you incurred them in that accident.
You may be so intimidated by the law enforcement officer that you start apologizing. This can be seen as admitting fault and it can jeopardize your chances of getting compensation. Remember, the police officer involved in the accident is not investigating the crash. You don’t have to say anything to him. In fact, you shouldn’t say anything to anyone until you speak to your attorney in Baton Rouge. He will guide you on what is appropriate to discuss.
What a Baton Rouge Car Wreck Attorney Will Tell You About Accidents Involving Law Enforcement
Accidents involving law enforcement officers aren’t like those involving private citizens. The police officer is likely covered by the city’s insurance policy. The claims process may, therefore, be different and it may take a while for your claim to be processed. You will need a lawyer to keep an eye on things and ensure you get what you deserve.
Attributing fault in an accident involving a police vehicle is also different. Typically, a driver who breaks traffic laws and crashes into you is deemed to be responsible.
Like other drivers, a police officer can be guilty of breaking the law by:
- Driving while distracted
- Driving the wrong way
- Failing to signal
- Making an illegal turn
- Running a red light or a stop sign
However, it depends on what the officer was doing at the time. Under Louisiana Revised Statutes 32:24, emergency vehicles have special privileges. Sometimes, they can do things that would normally be illegal. Think about if the police have to respond to an emergency or pursue a criminal. They can go over the speed limit, run red lights and stop signs or make illegal turns. However, they must still drive with regard for the safety of other road users.
As you can see, this may be a fine line to navigate. You will need to prove that the officer acting negligently in order to receive compensation.
How to Prove Negligence in a Car Crash according to a Car Accident Lawyer in Baton Rouge
There are four conditions that must be met to prove negligence. They are:
- The driver owed you a duty of care. Under the law, all drivers have a duty to obey traffic rules and drive safely.
- The driver breached that duty.
- The breach of duty caused your injuries.
- The injury caused you losses which can be quantified in dollars and cents.
When a law enforcement officer is involved, things can get a bit murky. The officer will likely offer a defense to your claim based on several factors. A number of questions will be asked. Was the officer responding to an emergency? Were the lights and sirens on? Were you obeying the rules of the road? You will need a Baton Rouge car wreck lawyer to help you make sense of everything.
Contact a Baton Rouge Car Wreck Attorney for Advice
Crash with a law enforcement vehicle can be very complicated. While you may be able to handle regular minor accidents on your own, you shouldn’t risk it in these circumstances. The case may take a lot of time and energy. You would also have to deal with the usual government bureaucracy.
This is a lot to take on when recovering from injury and dealing with vehicle repairs. That’s why it’s best to hire a car wreck attorney and let them handle the details. If you suffered injuries in a crash with a law enforcement vehicle, contact our trusted Baton Rouge car accident attorneys at Louisiana Injury Lawyers today. We have the expertise to investigate your case and get you the compensation you deserve. We will focus on your claim while you focus on getting better. Call us today!