Earlier this month in Riverside, Maryland, an officer responding to a hit-and-run accident was involved in an accident, injuring himself and three others. According to one local news source, the police officer was responding to an altercation between the victim of a hit-and-run and the other driver. Evidently, the accident occurred on I-95, and the victim had followed the hit-and-run driver to his address, where an altercation between the two was underway.
The police officer was responding, with lights and sirens on, heading south on Route 543. As the officer approached the intersection of Route 543 and Route 7, a Mazda heading eastbound on Route 7 collided with the officer’s car. The driver of the Mazda and the police officer were both flown to Maryland Shock Trauma in Baltimore. The other two people injured in the accident were taken to Johns Hopkins Bayview Hospital, where they were treated for their injuries and released.
Police are currently conducting an investigation to determine who, if anyone, was at fault for the accident. Thus far, no charges have been issued by the police department.
Safe Driving, Even in Times of Emergency
It is understood and expected that police officers will occasionally need to get somewhere in a hurry. When an officer turns on his lights and sirens, that is a signal for other drivers to get out of the officer’s way so he can get to where he is going. However, with that said, police do not have carte blanche to drive however they want whenever they want.
If a police officer is not responding to an emergency call, and causes an accident while his lights and sirens are on, that could be evidence that the police officer was being negligent and acting outside the scope of his employment. The same may be true if the police officer is driving recklessly and causes a car accident—even while responding to an emergency.
When Can an Accident Victim Recover after an Accident with Police?
The government and its employees have immunity from lawsuits if they are acting within the scope of their employment. However, if a government employee is acting outside the scope of their employment by driving in a negligent manner, that conduct may waive the government’s immunity in that case.
This area of law is complex, and before any decisions are made regarding a case involving an accident with a government employee, a dedicated Maryland personal injury attorney should be contacted.
Have You Been in an Accident with a Government Employee?
If you have recently been involved in an accident with a government employee of any kind, you may be entitled to monetary damages. However, you will likely need to establish that the employee was acting outside the scope of their employment at the time. In addition, there are many other procedural hurdles, such as notice requirements, that must be met, or a case can be prematurely dismissed. To learn more about Maryland car accidents, and to speak with a dedicated attorney about your case, call 410-654-3600 today to set up a free initial consultation with a skilled personal injury advocate.
More Blog Posts:
Silver Springs DUI Accident Results in One Woman’s Death, Maryland Car Accident Attorney Blog, published March 3, 2015.
Mailman in Critical Condition after Single-Vehicle Accident in Prince George’s County, Maryland Car Accident Attorney Blog, published April 23, 2015.