My clients and readers know that rear-end collisions are among the most common in Los Angeles.
What happens if the offending rear-ender is a police car?
Unfortunately, this is not just a hypothetical. Earlier this week, a CHP officer in Northern California was distracted and rear-ended another vehicle, killing the teenaged driver.
The CHP officer was apparently using his in-car computer that rests in the center console.
Last year the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department introduced changes to its in-car computer system use. This change came in response to a tragic collision involving a deputy who veered into a bike lane, killing a local lawyer and avid bicyclist named Milton Olin.
California law offers immunity for police officers when a law enforcement vehicle collides with another during a police pursuit.
But if no pursuit is occurring, a police vehicle will likely be treated as any other. That means if you’re injured after being rear-ended by a police car, you can probably hold the police department liable.
Cases involving police car crashes are governed by different timelines. Because the police are part of a governmental entity, an injured person would first have to file a Government Claim before filing a lawsuit in court.
The Government Claim must be filed within 6 months of the collision.
If you or someone you know was injured in a collision with a police car in Los Angeles or beyond, make sure you speak with an attorney as soon as possible.
The Rabbi Lawyer is ready to assist, 24/6!