Two Challenges You'll Face When You're Injured While Riding In A Police Car

Law Blog

Even though you may have been arrested for a crime, you still have the right to pursue compensation for any injuries you sustain if the officer gets into a vehicle accident while transporting you to jail. However, litigating a suit against the police agency may not be as easy as it would be if you were in an accident with a civilian driver, and there are additional concerns you must address. Here are two challenges you need to account for when suing police for an auto accident.

You'll Have to Pass Through Government Red Tape

The immediate issue you'll run into is that you'll have to deal with some government red tape before you can execute your right to file a personal injury lawsuit against the liable officer and agency. First, you'll need to determine whether you can file a lawsuit against the police agency. In some states, such as Michigan, government agencies are protected from lawsuits related to incidents that occur while the employee was carrying out a government function. So even though you were hurt in an accident caused by the officer, you may not be able to sue for damages unless the officer acted in a negligent manner.

Even if you aren't barred from suing, you typically must file a complaint with the police force first and wait for the agency to reply. Only after the agency has responded to your complaint can you file a lawsuit to recover damages and losses. To make matters worse, you must file your complaint within a set period of time (e.g. 120 days from the incident); otherwise, you'll lose the right to sue altogether.

Thus, it's important to contact an attorney as soon as you possibly can to discuss the procedure for suing the police department in your state so you can avoid missing important deadlines.

The State May Take Your Money

Another issue you'll need to contend with is that the state may take your money if you're convicted of a crime and sent to jail. A number of states have been charging inmates the cost of keeping them imprisoned. However, these states only go after inmates once they find out the prisoner has money to take. For instance, one man received a $150,000 advance for a book of short stories he wrote, and the Attorney General in his state immediately filed suit to collect 90 percent of the man's assets as repayment for his room and board.

As a result, it may be necessary to settle your accident case as quickly as possible so you can protect any money you receive from being confiscated by the state. Even if the case doesn't resolve until after you've been in jail for a while, there may still be things you can do to keep the state from taking your money (e.g. opt for monthly payments instead of a lump sum). It's essential you discuss the issue with your attorney if you think you will be doing any jail time as a result of your criminal case.

For assistance with your auto accident case, contact a lawyer. Companies like Buckley  Law Office can help answer your questions.


24 March 2018

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