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Ask Maverick Your Own Question
Maverick, Attorney
Category: Personal Injury Law
Satisfied Customers: 6391
Experience:  20 years professional experience
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I need to file a law suit against the police department car

Customer Question

I need to file a law suit against the police department for a car accident that I was involved in. Would I be able to get help?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Personal Injury Law
Expert:  Maverick replied 1 year ago.

Welcome to Just Answer (“JA”)! My name is Maverick.

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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok. Here is the situation, I guess I'm asking if I even have a case or not?
I was involved in a car accident on March 2nd. In dealing with this horrific experience, I was ushered to jail for a warrant that was unrelated to the accident. Due to the warrant I had out for my arrest since Aug of 2015, they had to take me to jail.
However, on March 1st I was pulled over by an office a day before the accident whom issued me a ticket for driving in the emergency lane. This officer didn't mention anything about me having a warrant or the fact that my license was suspended. If he would have completed his job correctly, I would've been ushered to jail on March 1st and would have avoided a car accident the following day.
The officers from March 2nd stated to me that this could've been avoided. They wasted no time taking me in after being seen in the ER.
I'm just thinking that this could've all been avoided if that officer was doing his job. Can you tell me your legal experiences in such a case like this one? Do I even have a case?
Expert:  Maverick replied 1 year ago.

This type of case would be bounced immediately on the "duty" and "causation" elements of negligence; even assuming that you could circumvent any sovereign immunity defense that the city might first throw up.

The bot***** *****ne here is that the police officer owes no specific duty to you individually to inform you of your legal violations on a previous incident or to usher you into jail for them. While this is a duty that the officer owes to the public at large, it is not owed to you individually.

Nor can it be said that the first officer's failure to arrest you is the LEGAL PROXIMATE CAUSE of your accident on 3/2. It is essential to a negligence claim to prove in trial that the negligent act of the first officer was the proximate cause (and not some other reason) of the damages to you.

Sometimes there is an intervening cause which comes between the original negligence of the defendant and the injured plaintiff. If this intervening cause is the substantial reason for the injury, then the defendant will not be liable.

So, for example, in your case the either you or the other driver may have been negligent in the manner that you drove on 3/2 and this would be the proximate cause of your injury on that date.

I know this is not the answer that you wanted to hear; but I am assuming that you are paying for an honest and professional answer.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I would think that the negligence does fall on the previous officer from 3/1. Not only had I had a warrant my license was suspended as well. I shouldn't have been driving. I had a good driving record prior to this. If I've known that my license was suspended, I would've taken care of this immediately. I wasn't even informed that they were suspended and was allowed to cont. driving.
Expert:  Maverick replied 1 year ago.

In order for a plaintiff to successfully assert that a defendant was negligent, a plaintiff will have to prove four elements.

First, a plaintiff must show that the defendant owed the plaintiff a "duty of care." The legal term "duty of care" basically means that one party was obligated to act in a certain way toward another.

Next, a plaintiff must show that the defendant breached the "duty of care" he owed to the plaintiff.

Third, a plaintiff will have to show that the defendant's breach of his duty of care proximately caused the plaintiff's injury.

Last, the plaintiff needs to show that he was damaged or injured in some way.

So, yes, even if the 3/1 officer was GENERALLY negligent, the duty to take you in for a arrest warrant was not owed to you individually, but only to the public at large; also even if you can prove the other three elements somehow, the proximate cause link would be hard to establish given the intervening cause of either your or the other driver's negligence as the primary cause of the accident on 3/2.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
OK. This is very helpful. Thank you for taking the time to direct me.
Expert:  Maverick replied 1 year ago.

Your welcome.