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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 102601
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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I was in a very serious auto accident in 2011 (Milwaukee,

Customer Question

I was in a very serious auto accident in 2011 (Milwaukee, WI) with injuries such as traumatic brain injury, etc. My lawyer just settled the lawsuit against the bus companies insurance in Dec./2015. However, I would like to pursuit the police department for not carrying out their duties as described in the departments Standard Operating Procedures - for Serious Accidents. I feel that their unfulfillment of duties sworn, whether on purpose or out of ignorance, added further damage to me and created a hindrance in hiring the best attorney for this particular type of accident - in fact, it cost me literally thousands of dollars.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms.

I am sorry to hear about this situation. To sue in a state court, one needs to have a "cause of action." There are numerous causes of action, such as "breach of contract," "negligence," "fraud," "unjust enrichment," etc., as well as causes of action rooted in statutory law. Every state has their own although they are very similar to each other in every state because they all stem from the same common law. A pleading in Court needs at least one cause of action, although it is not unusual to have more than one.

The closest cause of action I can think of in such a case may be negligence. Negligence is defined as (a) an existence of duty, (b) breach of that duty, and (c) injury as a result thereof. Bowen v. Lumbermens Mut. Cas. Co., 517 NW 2d 432 - Wis: Supreme Court 1994.

Now, the battle would be to prove to a Judge or Jury (unless this is settled) that the police did not perform, or significantly under-performed, their duties. This is hard to do, as one would essentially have to show sluggish action, lack of care, etc. A lot of this would be subjective and up to the jury to decide. In addition - since this is a government agency - one would have to prove GROSS NEGLIGENCE or MALICIOUS action in order to hold a stage agency liable (state agencies enjoy higher liability protection). This may be even harder to do.

Whether or not one feels that this is worth the effort is of course, up to you.

Good luck.

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Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
Hello again. This is a courtesy check in to see if you needed anything else in regards ***** ***** question because you never responded or replied positively. I am simply touching base. Let me know. Thanks!