You’re in a Car Accident with a Marlyand Police Officer. Now What?
Over 5,000 passengers and onlookers have been fatally injured in police chases since 1979, including the elderly, young children, and teenage drivers. Thousands more have suffered traumatic injuries getting into a car accident caused by a reckless police chase.
If you or a family member have been injured in a car accident with a police officer in Maryland, you must act swiftly. In addition to the standard regulations in legal action, your lawsuit is ruled by the limitations of the Maryland Tort Claims Act under the Maryland Code State Government Title § 12–101.
At The Law Offices of Hillel Traub, Baltimore traffic violations lawyer Hillel Traub can advise you on whether you have a sufficient claim caused by a car accident with a police officer and how to press charges if the accident occurred in Maryland. Further, suppose the police officer cites you with a traffic violation that led to the accident. In that case, Attorney Hillel Traub can advocate for you against those charges to potentially get them dropped.
Can I Sue a Police Officer for Damages If They Caused My Car Accident?
In Maryland, there are specific laws that regulate the legal responsibility of the State and local governments. If your car accident occurred while a police officer was in the course of an emergency, for example, the police officer is covered under the immunity provided by Maryland Code § 5–639. With very few exceptions, the Department of Transportation and other government entities are protected from civil lawsuits.
Before you can sue a police officer for any damages caused in a car accident, the courts must first establish whether the government policy covers the police department. When a police officer can be sued, the claim is restricted to limited insurance coverage.
How Can I Pursue an Injury Claim If a Police Officer Caused My Injuries?
Under the Maryland Torts Claim Act, you must act quickly to sue a police officer or any government employee for damages in a car accident. While Maryland’s statute of limitations allows victims three years to pursue a personal injury lawsuit, they have just one year to pursue legal action involving the state or local government. After one year has passed, accident victims lose their right to sue.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident with a police officer in Maryland, it is critical that you contact an experienced Baltimore traffic attorney immediately to learn your legal options.
What Damages Can I Recover After a Car Accident in Maryland?
After being injured a car accident caused by the negligence of another person or entity, you can pursue compensation for economic damages that include the total monetary value of losses caused by the collision, such as:
- Medical bills
- Loss of wages
- Loss of future wages
- Property damage
Additionally, you can pursue non-economic damages that are more challenging to value, as these losses are subjective by nature. Non-economic damages include:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Mental anguish
- Emotional distress
In exceptional cases, punitive damages are awarded at the court’s discretion to punish the defendant for egregiously bad conduct and extreme negligence while deterring others from acting similarly. For example, a drunk driver may be required to pay punitive damages after their blatant disregard for human life caused them to get behind the wheel while intoxicated.
Damage Caps on Lawsuits Against the Government
There are strict caps on the amount you can recover against a police officer or government entity in Maryland. Under the Maryland Tort Claims Act, a police officer or government employee cannot be held liable for more than $400,000 for injuries resulting from a single accident or $800,000 for the total claim resulting from the accident. Unfortunately, in some circumstances, this cap requires that some car accident victims recover far less damages than they’d be awarded in a case not brought against a government entity.
Contact Top-Rated Baltimore Traffic Violations Attorney
Car accidents involving police officers in Maryland are highly complex. If you’ve been injured by law enforcement or cited with a traffic violation that caused the accident, you must contact an experienced traffic violations attorney as soon as possible.
Attorney Hillel Traub of The Law Office of Hillel Traub can help you discover all relevant damages and advocate for your right to receive compensation for your losses. Hillel Traub is dedicated to fighting minor and serious charges on behalf of his clients in the Baltimore community. As a former Assistant Attorney General for the Maryland MVA, Hillel Traub wields his understanding and successful defense experience to defend your rights, compensation, and freedom.
To schedule a free consultation with Attorney Hillel Traub to discuss your accident, complete a contact form or call (410) 580-1100.