Being involved in an auto accident is a stressful and scary situation. Things only get worse when the other party involved in the accident is a police officer. So what should you do if you were hit by a police car? Are you in trouble if you were at-fault for the accident? What if you were hurt? Keep on reading to see what our car accident attorneys have to say about accidents involving a police car.
How Do I Recover Compensation If I Was Hit by a Police Car?
In most cases where a police officer was driving their vehicle as part of their employment-related activities, you will need to file a claim with the municipality or county agency responsible for employing that officer. This is because claims against individual officers are subject to strict caps on damages and the officer may enjoy some degree of immunity that makes it more difficult to recover in a claim against an individual officer.
While most personal injury claims can be filed up to six years after the date of the accident, Maine requires that a Notice of Claim against a state or local government entity be served on that entity within 365 days of the incident. Following that, the action must be commenced within two years of the incident.
The deadline for serving the Notice of Claim used to be only 180 days, but a recent bill enacted in 2019 extended that deadline to 365 days for serving notice under the Maine Torts Claim Act. This means you are required to file your notice within 365 days from your accident or it may be deemed expired. Filing a lawsuit against a government agency can be even more complicated and difficult than a suit against a private citizen, so it is best to seek the help of an attorney to increase your chances of a successful outcome.
Will I Be Charged With a Felony if I Accidentally Crashed Into a Police Car?
Accidental collisions with police vehicles do not typically mean you will be in trouble with the law, but it may cause you a few headaches. If you hit a police car without the intention of doing harm, you will likely not be charged with a felony and the accident will be treated like most other car crashes. You may end up with a ticket and an insurance claim, but if your accident was a result of a lapse of attention, bad road conditions, mechanical failure or any other factors that typically cause accidents, you probably will not need to worry about a criminal record. On the other hand, you should seek immediate advice from a criminal defense attorney if you were engaging in risky or reckless behavior such as driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol or in any other reckless or illegal conduct.
Can a Car Accident Attorney Help Me?
Regardless of whether you were at fault or not, being involved in a car crash with a police vehicle is a messy and complicated situation. It is highly advisable you seek the help of a car crash attorney as soon as possible, because in either situation, you will not be dealing with an individual but with a government agency as the other party in your case. Contact the team at Gideon Asen LLC at (207) 206-8982 or firstname.lastname@example.org to learn your options.