Have you been involved in an accident with a law enforcement vehicle?

Local police officers, sheriffs, state police, federal agents, and other law enforcement personnel have a responsibility to keep citizens safe. But unfortunately, careless actions or reckless pursuit of criminals can result in serious injuries to innocent bystanders. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, 83 people were killed in police vehicle accidents, and far more suffered serious injuries. Whether the injured person is a fellow motorist, a pedestrian, a motorcyclist, or a bicyclist, those injured in collisions with law enforcement vehicles deserve compensation for their injuries.

If you or a loved one have been seriously injured due to a law enforcement vehicle accident, contact Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi today. Our skilled personal injury lawyers have spent more than 80 combined years fighting for the injured in New Jersey and New York, collecting more than $300 million in compensation along the way. Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi have the experience and commitment to see your claim through to the very end and hold the guilty party accountable for their negligence. Call (201) 585-9111 or contact us online to speak with one of our experienced personal injury attorneys today.

Causes of Law Enforcement Vehicle Accidents

All New Jersey drivers—including law enforcement personnel—are subject to the New Jersey Vehicle Code, found in Title 39 of the New Jersey Revised Statutes. The New Jersey Driver Manual, available online, offers a simplified version of these rules and regulations for drivers.

When a driver violates one of these “rules of the road,” it poses a serious danger to others on the road, and it can open the reckless driver to liability for injuries caused. Common causes of motor vehicle accidents include:

  • Speeding
  • Driving under the influence
  • Texting while driving
  • Distracted driving
  • Failure to adjust for weather conditions
  • Failure to obey traffic signs
  • Failure to stop at a stop sign
  • Running a red light
  • Failure to yield when required
  • Failure to slow down for a construction site
  • Failure to stop for a school bus with flashing red lights
  • Failure to merge safely and at the appropriate time
  • Driving too slowly (failure to keep up with the flow of traffic)
  • Passing in a no-pass zone or when it is unsafe to do so

However, it is important to note that this is not a complete list of reckless driving activities. Any action taken while driving that presents a serious risk to other drivers on the road can open up the driver to liability for injuries caused.

Injuries in Law Enforcement Vehicle Accidents

Motor vehicle collisions are among the most common causes of injuries in the U.S. In New Jersey alone, there were 284,062 car accidents in 2012, resulting in 589 deaths and many more injuries. Possible injuries from a law enforcement vehicle accident include:

  • Catastrophic injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Severe burns
  • Brain injuries
  • Back injuries
  • Amputations
  • Fractures
  • Death
  • Whiplash
  • Face injuries
  • Scrapes, bruises, and lacerations
  • Psychological injuries

After a serious accident, it is important to see a doctor right away. Some injuries, such as concussions and internal bleeding, are not always apparent right away, making it extremely important to consult a medical professional. Plus, if you plan to file a personal injury claim, it is much easier to prove the extent of your injuries when you went to see a doctor immediately after the accident. If you delay going to the doctor by weeks or even days, an opposing attorney can argue that you were not really injured (or not injured badly enough to necessitate medical attention).

Lawsuits Against Government Agencies

It is important to remember that there are strict time limits when it comes to filing a personal injury case. In New Jersey, there is a two-year statute of limitations on personal injury cases. In other words, you must file your claim within two years of the accident if you choose to do so. If you do not file a claim within two years, you will lose out on the right to compensation for the accident.

However, claims against the government have special time limits involved. If the liable party was a government agency, like a local police force or New Jersey State Police, you must give formal notice of your claim within 90 days of the accident. After filing the initial notice, you must wait six months to file a lawsuit. During this six-month waiting period, the government agency will most likely reach out to you to try and resolve your claim. With the help of a knowledgeable attorney, you can decide whether to resolve your claim with the government agency or file a formal lawsuit.

Contact Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi

Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi are proud to represent the injured throughout New Jersey and New York. Since opening our doors in 1974, we have been committed to the highest standards of excellence in personal injury litigation. Our million-dollar and multi-million-dollar settlements have earned us inclusion in the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, of which fewer than 1 percent of U.S. lawyers are members. Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi was named to U.S. News and World Report’s Best Law Firms list of 2013, and Michael Maggiano and Christopher DiGirolamo have received the highest possible ratings as car accident attorneys by the AVVO Lawyer Ratings service.

With more than 80 years’ worth of combined trial experience, we are prepared to investigate your claim and fight to hold the negligent party accountable for their actions. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident involving a law enforcement vehicle, contact us to discuss your legal options. Call (201) 585-9111 or contact us online to schedule your free and confidential consultation today.