Being involved in an auto accident can be frustrating. However, colliding with a police car can be uniquely stressful. You might worry that the officer or police department will automatically pin the blame on you and maybe even retaliate by accusing you of illegal behavior.
The best thing to do in this kind of delicate situation is to consult with an experienced attorney as soon as possible after the accident. You will need experienced legal counsel to protect your rights and help you seek compensation for your losses. Contact Cardoso Law, PLLC, today to schedule your free case review.
Can I File a Claim After an Accident with a Police Car in Florida?
Yes. The Florida Tort Claims Act (FTCA) allows you to file a legal claim against the government if you are hurt due to the negligent acts of its agencies, subdivisions, or employees. Police departments are not immune.
However, before filing a lawsuit, the FTCA requires that you serve the police department or other law enforcement agency with written notice of your accident claim, after which the government is entitled to an investigation period. If you fail to provide timely notice of your claim, you could lose your right to hold the police accountable for an accident they caused.
To avoid this, you should consult with a knowledgeable attorney as soon as possible after a collision involving a police vehicle. This is the best way to make sure you identify the correct deadline.
What to Do After a Car Accident with a Police Officer
There are many practical steps you can take to protect yourself and your right to compensation after being involved in an accident with a police vehicle. For example, where possible, you should:
- Take photographs and videos documenting the scene
- Identify witnesses and gather their contact information
- Identify nearby traffic or surveillance cameras that may have recorded the incident
- Seek prompt medical attention to have your injuries diagnosed, treated, and documented
- Follow your doctor’s treatment plan and attend all follow-up appointments
- Keep copies of any bills or invoices documenting expenses you incurred due to the crash
- Gather pay stubs or bank statements documenting your lost income or lowered earning capacity
- Request copies of your medical treatment and billing records from providers
- Request a copy of the police accident report and any related incident reports
- Consult with a Pensacola personal injury attorney as soon as possible to discuss your legal rights and options
What Compensation Is Available Through a Florida Car Accident Lawsuit?
If you can prove that the police officer was responsible for the accident, you may be entitled to recover significant compensation for your injuries and losses. For example, an attorney can help you pursue compensation for things like:
- Medical and rehabilitation expenses
- Costs of long-term care or support for permanent disabilities
- Lost income due to missed time from work
- Loss of future earning potential due to permanent impairments
- Pain, suffering, and reduced enjoyment/quality of life
- The costs of repairing or replacing your damaged vehicle
Importantly, the FTCA limits how much compensation you can recover from an injury claim against a government agency. In general, you cannot receive more than $200,000 in a case against the government in Florida. However, the limit goes up to $300,000 in claims involving multiple state entities.
Contact a Florida Car Accident Attorney to Discuss Your Legal Options
If you were hurt in an accident with a police cruiser or other government vehicle in Florida, you should not hesitate to have your case reviewed by a car accident lawyer. Reach out to Cardoso Law, PLLC, today. Our legal team is ready to answer your questions and evaluate your case in a free, no-obligation consultation.