Earlier this week in Washington DC, a Maryland school teacher lost her life when she was sideswiped by a police cadet making an improper turn out of an emergency crossover. According to a report by NBC Washington, the accident occurred on Friday morning on the Capital Beltway, near the Route 50 interchange.
Evidently, the 18-year-old cadet was driving an unmarked police SUV without the lights or sirens activated when he decided to use the emergency crossover from the Inner Loop to the Outer Loop. However, as he exited the crossover, he sideswiped a Lincoln, sending it into a nearby wall. The SUV driven by the officer then spun into a Subaru Outback.
The driver of the Lincoln, a 59-year-old Maryland school teacher, was taken to Prince George’s Hospital Center, where she was later pronounced dead. She left behind five children and four grandchildren. The driver of the Subaru was not injured in the collision.
The cadet responsible for the collision refused medical treatment, and was placed on leave for his role in the accident. A spokesperson for the Maryland State Police commented that the cadet did not have authority to use that emergency crossover and that there is going to be an internal investigation conducted.
Accidents Caused by Police
Police have a dangerous job, to be sure. It is in their job description to chase down dangerous criminals, put themselves in the line of fire, and protect the public from all kinds of threats. In performing these tasks, police will occasionally slip up and cause harm to an innocent person. This raises the question, who is responsible for that person’s injuries?
Depending on the circumstances, police may have immunity from suit if the injuries they caused—even to an innocent victim—were caused in the pursuit of their duties. However, when a police officer is not acting within the scope of his or her employment and causes injuries to a civilian, there is no immunity.
For example, in the case above, the Maryland State Police stated that the officer had no authority to make use of the emergency crossover. Therefore, in a wrongful death action, the accident victim’s family may argue that immunity should be waived because making that turn was outside the scope of the officer’s duties.
Have You Been Injured in an Accident with a Police Officer?
If you have recently been injured in an accident with a police officer or any other government official, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. However, it is likely that you will have to deal with the fact that the official may have immunity from suit, depending on the circumstances. It is therefore advised that you retain the services of an experienced Maryland personal injury attorney to help you along the way. With an attorney’s assistance you will be able to better understand the law, what is required of you, and what you may be entitled to should you be victorious at trial. To learn more, and to speak to an attorney about your case, click here or call 410-654-3600 to schedule a free consultation with an attorney today.
More Blog Posts:
Teenage Girl Dies in Auto-Pedestrian Accident, Maryland Car Accident Attorney Blog, published July 9, 2014.
Car Crashes into Restaurant, Sending Six to the Hospital, Maryland Car Accident Attorney Blog, published July 23, 2014.