A sheriff’s deputy was transferring a prisoner when they smashed head-on into a Toyota Camry allegedly making a U-turn. The crash happened Tuesday on U.S. 23 in Johnson County. A 90-year-old woman, who was a passenger in the Toyota, died at the scene, and it’s unknown if there are any other injuries.
W.R. Castle Fire-Rescue responded to the scene and closed the highway for about 90 minutes while emergency crews attended to the injured and officials investigated the accident.
Law-Enforcement Involved Crashes
What happens when a police or other government emergency vehicles are involved in a crash? In some respects, nothing is different. Emergency personnel need to do their jobs, and the scene needs to be investigated and then cleaned up. However, once that is done, then the issue of fault comes into play, and the law treats police care crashes a bit differently.
So What if the Police are at Fault?
Under Kentucky law, when police and other emergency vehicles are involved in a car accident, the government is immune from lawsuits under a doctrine called sovereign immunity. This provides the police with protection against being sued if they are at fault in a wreck so long as they were operating in the course of their official duties.
This means that if a police officer is driving above the speed limit and hits a pedestrian and found negligent, then the pedestrian can’t sue the driver of the car. However, this doesn’t mean that if you’re injured by a police car or other emergency vehicle that you won’t be compensated for your injuries.
You might be able to file under your own uninsured/underinsured policy, or the police department itself might be liable under some circumstances. Also, the doctrine of sovereign immunity doesn’t apply if the police officer was acting in bad faith or operating outside the scope of their official duties.
Do I need an Attorney?
When it comes to suing the government, you need an attorney. The law is complicated, and whether you can recover your losses might depend on a host of complicated factors. If you’ve been injured by the acts of the police, fire department or some other government agency, talk to an attorney that understands the law of sovereign immunity and has experience dealing with the government and insurance companies.
The attorneys at Kaufman and Stigger, PLLC, have that knowledge and a combined 100 years’ experience in helping clients get the results they deserve. To discuss your case, call Kaufman & Stigger, PLLC today, at (800) 937-8443 or click here to contact them online.