When you’re injured in a vehicle accident, the party at fault is typically liable for your injuries. Personal injury cases can range between straightforward and complicated. But when a police car is involved in causing your injuries, your case can be exponentially more complex because filing a claim against the police or another government agency follows a different set of rules. There are many variables involved, and sometimes the police are even immune to lawsuits if the accident happens in the line of duty.
If you were injured in an accident involving a police car in Illinois, having a skilled Illinois personal injury attorney in your corner is absolutely essential to ensure you receive fair compensation for your injuries. Call Cullotta Bravo Law today at 630-898-7800 to schedule an appointment with an experienced police car accident lawyer in Chicago or Aurora, Illinois.
Why Police Car Injury Accidents Are More Complicated
Most injury accidents between individuals are settled through personal injury lawsuits–deciding who is at fault and holding them (or their insurance) responsible for paying for the injuries. But most governments (including local and state governments in Illinois) operate on a legal principle called “sovereign immunity,” which basically means the government can’t be sued without its consent. There are exclusions to sovereign immunity that do allow citizens to file suit when necessary. In Illinois, these exclusions are covered in the Court of Claims Act and the Local Governmental and Governmental Employees Tort Immunity Act, which detail when and how citizens can file lawsuits and when government employees are and are not liable.
These laws are what make it more challenging to sue the police department or a police officer for injuries in a police car accident. To file a claim, you must fill out a court of claims form within a certain amount of time after your accident and/or injury, or you forfeit your right to compensation. In some cases, proving liability and getting compensation may be relatively straightforward (for example, if the police officer who hit you was off duty at the time). But at other times, when a police car is involved in causing your injuries, the police may be immune from lawsuits–even if they were negligent–as long as they were operating within their official capacity as a government employee.
Why You Need an Experienced Illinois Personal Injury Attorney
If you were injured in a police car accident, you may be dealing with complicated nuances in the law that the government may use to excuse itself from paying for your injuries. Your best hope of getting compensation is to have an experienced Illinois personal injury attorney working on your behalf. Call the Cullotta Bravo Law Firm at 630-898-7800 to schedule a free consultation.
“Willful and Wanton Misconduct” in Police Car Accidents
In many injury cases involving police cars, the best course of action in filing a personal injury claim is to demonstrate that the accident happened because the officer practiced “willful and wanton misconduct” or gross negligence in carrying out their duties. The law gives immunity to police officers in many situations if they inadvertently injure you while in the line of duty–for example, if the cop crashes into you while chasing a fugitive on the run, the government may claim they are immune to liability. But the law does grant exceptions in cases of “willful or wanton misconduct.” If your attorney can show from the evidence that the police officer was driving in a deliberately careless or dangerous way and could easily have avoided you—and that this negligence resulted in your injuries—you may be able to bypass the presumption of immunity and hold the officer (and the police department) responsible for compensating you. However, proving deliberate indifference to civil rights can be challenging because it must be shown that the officer knew their actions would bring harm to another person but did not care. In many cases, it requires a skilled attorney to uncover the evidence and create compelling arguments to prove this kind of claim.
Call an Experienced Illinois Personal Injury Attorney Today
At Cullotta Bravo Law Firm, our personal injury attorneys understand the complexities involved in holding officers liable in police car accidents. We will work tirelessly to help you receive the compensation you deserve. Call us today at 630-225-8341 or contact us online.