What to Do after a Police Vehicle/Car Accident in Wisconsin
Milwaukee Personal Injury Lawyers Protect Drivers
You’re waiting in the turn lane at an intersection when the radio plays a song with sirens. After a moment you realize it’s not the radio but a squad car making a sharp turn right at you. There’s nowhere for you to pull over and before you know it you’re in a fender-bender with a cop. What on earth are you supposed to do now?
Step One: Call the police (not the ones who hit you). Legally, police officers are not able to conduct investigations on themselves. You need to get an impartial officer involved to document the collision. If they try to tell you otherwise, clarify why you need a report from another officer.
- Emergency? Call 9-1-1
- Non-Emergency? Call your local County Sheriff’s Department:
Step Two: Call Warshafsky Law attorneys: 414-276-4970
Dealing with the police can be highly intimidating, even when you are the victim. Have a Warshafsky Law attorney on your side to ensure you are fairly represented. Our certified accident investigator will arrive on the scene to create an accurate accident report. Contact us for a free case assessment.
Step Three: Seek medical treatment even if you feel fine. In the immediate aftermath of the collision, you need a professional to document your wellbeing for insurance and legal purposes.
The Trouble with Government-Insured Vehicles
Vehicles in a police fleet are usually insured by the government at the county or state level. This can add a huge hassle to getting a claim processed. Paperwork will have to be double and triple checked for accuracy every step of the way. You will need a lawyer to handle all the details.
Remember: Police officers face many distractions which can lead to mistakes while driving. They might misjudge their clearance in a parking lot, not pull over all the way, or forget to put the squad into park. Since they have to drive at high speeds to respond to calls they are often at fault for collisions.
It may take time, but if the police are at fault for your car accident you deserve compensation. Warshafsky Law will guide you through the process from start to finish.
Sovereign Tort Immunity: Wisconsin Statutes 893.80 and 893.83
Government entities like police departments are often protected by sovereign tort immunity. This is a legal authority which means individual government employees like police officers cannot be sued for actions while working. Instead, the local government will provide damages. This immunity is intended to reduce frivolous lawsuits or personal vendettas against city officials. However, it can complicate legitimate cases against at-fault or negligent police officers.
Sovereign tort immunity can also place a cap on total damages. In Wisconsin, this amount it limited to $250,000 for motor vehicle negligence. Exceptions can rarely be made. You’ll need an experienced personal injury lawyer from Warshafsky Law to represent your claim.
Using Squad Car Dashcam and Officer Body Cam Footage After an Accident
Collisions with a police vehicle are more likely to be recorded than other accidents since most police vehicles come equipped with automatic dashcams. More and more individual police officers are wearing body cams to record what they do while patrolling, leading to video evidence of a post-collision encounter.
Police departments can be very reluctant to turn over recorded footage without specific cause, especially if they consider it part of an active investigation. Our lawyers can request a copy or file for discovery to obtain the necessary footage. Recordings are incredible tools for proving who was at fault in an accident.
Free Case Assessment from Milwaukee Personal Injury Attorneys
If you were injured or someone you love was killed in a collision with a police vehicle, you need to get a personal injury lawyer. In the state of Wisconsin, a person or business 51% responsible for a death could be held 100% liable for damages. Case assessments from Warshafsky Law trial lawyer are free. We are a No Win, No Fee law firm so you pay nothing until you receive compensation.