According to police, around 5 a.m. a crash occurred on Las Vegas Boulevard South at Flamingo Road. The incident involved a marked police car which ran into a wall in front of the Cromwell Hotel. Officer Larry Hadfield stated that the officer in the patrol car suffered non-life threatening injuries and was taken to the hospital. The accident is currently under investigation by Metro’s Traffic Division.
Crashes Involving Police Vehicles
Occasionally, a crash will occur that involves a citizen and a police vehicle. While it is very difficult to sue the government, it can be done. This type of suit is difficult because a government entity enjoys protection under a doctrine known as government immunity or sovereign immunity. The law prevents citizens from suing the government in certain cases, even in personal injury accidents that were caused by a government employee.
In a typical personal injury suit, the victim has the right to sue the at-fault driver for compensation. This money is used to make the victim “whole,” including covering medical expense and offering compensation for pain and suffering. However, certain people like police officers, firefighters and even ambulance drivers may have special immunity from such suits.
Are There Any Exceptions?
There are rare exceptions to this rule. The Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) provides a limited waiver of the government’s sovereign immunity when government employees are negligent within the scope of their employment. This means that the government can be sued “under circumstances where the United States, if a private person, would be liable to the claimant in accordance with the law of the place where the act or omission occurred,” according to 28 U.S.C. S 1346(b).
If a government employee, including a police officer, acts in a negligent way and causes an accident, the victim may have grounds to sue. If the officer is responding to an emergency, however, the case may be even more complicated. The government, in the form of first responders, is given greater leeway in situations like this. However, even when responding to emergency situations, officers are required to be cautious to avoid crashes.
Filing a Claim Against the Government
If you are seeking compensation for damages from a government employee such as a police officer, you need the help of a personal injury attorney like those at Bernstein & Poisson in Las Vegas. We can help you determine if your case has merit and can aggressively represent you in seeking compensation.