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What are my rights if I was in a head-on collision with a county police car which was at fault?

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What are my rights if I was in a head-on collision with a county police car which was at fault?

It was his fault for making a U-turn into my lane with no lights on and no turn signal. There were several witnesses to the incident and my car was rolled over and totaled. There were no major injuries but a lot of pain and mental trauma to myself and my son. I had to go to work because I need to pay my bills but I have been working in a lot of pain. I want to file lawsuit but do not know how or what to ask for. Today when I was driving to work another county police car drove by and I became very anxious and had to pull over and try to relax.

Asked on September 20, 2015 under Personal Injury, Texas

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

The police are usually self-insured through the county or state.  You could call the police and inquire about their insurance for filing personal injury and property damage claims and any applicable deadlines. If they deny the claim, you need to comply with all deadlines especially filing deadlines or you may lose your right to file a lawsuit.
You said that your car was totaled.  Therefore, I assume that the property damage has been resolved.  If it has not been resolved, the property damage claim is separate from the personal injury claim.
As for the personal injury claims, your claim is separate from your son's.
When each of you complete your medical treatment and are released by the doctor or are declared by the doctor to be permanent and stationary, which means having reached a point in your medical treatment where no further improvement is anticipated, obtain your medical bills, medical reports, and in your claim, documentation of wage loss. In addition to medical treatment for your physical injuries, you may want to see a psychologist or psychiatrist for treatment of your mental trauma when seeing a county police car.  For your son, obtain his medical bills and medical reports.
Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  The medical reports will document the nature and extent of your injuries and will be used to determine compensation for pain and suffering which is an amount in addition to the medical bills.  Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.
If both your claim and your son's claim are settled with the insurance carrier for the police, NO lawsuit is filed.
If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers from the insurance carrier, reject the settlement offers and file a lawsuit for negligence against the police, county and state.
In addition to your claim, if your son's separate claim is not settled, you will need to be appointed guardian ad litem to file a lawsuit on behalf of your son for negligence against the police, county and state if your son is a minor.
You will only file one lawsuit in which yourself and your son will be named as plaintiffs. If either your claim or your son's claim has been settled with the insurance carrier for the police, only name the person with whom the case has not settled as a plaintiff in the lawsuit.
In addition to the filing deadlines I mentioned above for filing a lawsuit, if your claims is/are denied, your lawsuit must also be filed prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you and your son will lose your rights forever in the matter.
 


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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