| Read Time: 5 minutes | Car Accidents
what happens if a cop hits your car

Most of us know what to do after a car accident. But what happens if a cop hits your car?

It’s natural to feel nervous or uncertain in these situations. However, don’t let the officer’s position prevent you from exercising your rights. In many cases, you can seek compensation if the officer is at fault for the crash. 

Peerali Law can assist you with this process. We are a leading personal injury firm in California and know what it takes to get compensation for our clients.

To speak with a member of our team, please contact us today.

Understanding Your Rights

If a police car hits your car, you may be entitled to compensation from the county. However, getting this compensation can be challenging. Police departments often don’t want to admit fault, and the insurance claim process can be complicated.

Accidents with police officers are similar to collisions with civilian drivers. Generally, if a police officer was negligent, they can be held liable for the accident. However, there are some complexities with these accidents, such as government immunity. 

This is where the expertise of an attorney becomes invaluable. Peerali Law can help you navigate the nuances of California law to determine the best course of action for your case.

What to Do After the Accident

While you may be entitled to compensation, you must take the proper steps to protect your rights. Here are some tips to put yourself in the best position after a crash.

Ensure Safety

Safety should be your primary concern after any accident. Move away from the road if possible. After this, check on the well-being of all victims and bystanders. If anyone is injured, do not move them unless there is an immediate danger. Turn on your hazard lights to warn other drivers, and set up flares or reflective triangles if you have them.

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Report the Accident

Even if the accident seems minor, it’s crucial to report it to the police. In California, the law requires reporting any accident resulting in injury or significant property damage. Wait for the police to arrive and let them know of any injuries as well.

Exchange Information

While you wait for the police, exchange information with the police officer involved in the accident. Get their badge number, name, and insurance information.

It’s also helpful to note the police vehicle’s license plate number and the name of the police department. This information is crucial for your insurance claim and any legal proceedings.

Document the Scene

Take detailed photographs of the accident scene from multiple angles. Try to capture the positions of the vehicles, any skid marks, road conditions, and traffic signs.

If there are any witnesses, ask for their contact information and if they would be willing to provide statements. Documenting the scene will provide valuable evidence for your insurance claim and potential legal action.

Contact an Attorney

It’s wise to speak with an attorney as soon as possible. An experienced lawyer can outline your legal options and explain the complexities of filing a claim when you are hit by a police car.

Compensation and liability are the main areas they can provide insights into, but they will manage the entire process, giving you peace of mind during this time. 

How Peerali Law Can Help

Hiring the right law firm can have a big impact on what happens if a cop hits your car. We understand the stress that comes with accidents involving police vehicles and the challenges you may face in seeking compensation. Here are some ways our firm can help you hold the police officer accountable.

Legal Guidance

We offer free consultations for all potential clients. Our team of skilled attorneys specializes in personal injury law, including cases involving accidents with police cars.

We are always ready to review your case and offer guidance tailored to your situation. We’ll help devise a legal solution that aligns with your plans and needs.

Investigation and Evidence Gathering

Our team will conduct a thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding the accident. We will do all we can to gather crucial evidence to support your claim.

This may include obtaining accident reports, witness statements, surveillance footage, and expert testimony. Our meticulous approach to evidence gathering aims to establish liability and strengthen your case for maximum compensation.

Negotiating with Insurance Companies

Dealing with insurance companies can be daunting, especially when facing a claim involving a government entity like a police department.

Our attorneys are skilled negotiators who will handle all communication and negotiations with insurance adjusters on your behalf. We will work tirelessly to secure a fair settlement that adequately compensates you for your injuries, damages, and losses.

Taking Your Case to Court

If negotiations with the insurance company don’t lead to a satisfactory outcome, our attorneys are prepared to take your case to court.

We have extensive experience representing clients in litigation and will aggressively advocate for your rights in the courtroom. Rest assured, we can and will use every available legal avenue to seek the justice and compensation you deserve for your suffering.

Compensation Available 

You may be entitled to various forms of compensation to cover both the tangible and intangible effects of the crash.

Here are a handful of damages that may be available:

  • Medical expenses,
  • Lost wages,
  • Property damage,
  • Pain and suffering,
  • Loss of consortium, and
  • Punitive damages.

Your exact damages depend on the nature of your claim. It’s best to meet with an attorney to determine the full value of your claim.

Speak with a California Personal Injury Lawyer

If you’ve been injured in California, Peerali Law is here to help. Our experienced personal injury lawyers have spent over two decades fighting for victims. During this time, we’ve collected many six and seven-figure client awards. 

Don’t navigate this challenging time alone; schedule a free consultation with us today.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Peerali Law is here to answer any questions you have after a crash. Until we meet, read these FAQs to better understand accidents involving police.

What Happens If a Police Car Hits You During a Chase? 

If you are hit by a police car during a chase, the circumstances of the accident will determine liability. While police officers can escape liability if they are responding to an emergency, this doesn’t excuse an officer who is negligent or reckless. In such cases, you may have the right to seek compensation for your injuries and damages. That’s why you should speak with an attorney to see if you can hold the police officer at fault for the car accident.

What Happens If You Hit the Back of a Cop Car? 

If you rear-end a police car, the situation will be similar to any other rear-end collision. In most collisions, the rear car is at fault for not keeping a safe following distance. However, this doesn’t mean you are automatically liable. Peerali Law can review your case and see if other factors caused the accident. 

Who Can I Sue If I’m Hit by a Police Car?

If you’re hit by a police car, you can sue for damages. However, you must file a claim against the liable party. Depending on the circumstances, this can include the officer, the police department, or anyone else who caused the crash. This process can be difficult, so you need to work with a lawyer with experience assessing liability.  

Author Photo

Kristopher earned his J.D. at the University of Southern California Gould School of Law where he was a member of the Review of Law and Social Justice honors law journal and was awarded several scholastic honors.

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