High Speed Collision With Police Cruiser Results in Wrongful Death Lawsuit Says Austin Personal Injury Lawyer
Austin, TX (Law Firm Newswire) November 14, 2011 – Even police officers get involved in car accidents. This case resulted in a wrongful death lawsuit.
“This reported case involved a police officer and an 82-year-old man,” said Brooks Schuelke, an Austin personal injury lawyer with Perlmutter & Schuelke, L.L.P. “The elderly gentleman was heading south on a highway, and tried to make a left hand turn onto an adjoining avenue. While in the middle of that turn, the man’s car was hit was a marked police unit in pursuit of a fugitive.”
The impact was so severe that the elderly man was paralyzed. He died two months later as a result of the injuries sustained in the crash. The deceased’s family filed a wrongful death lawsuit stating that the officer was at fault, as he was travelling at a high speed without using his lights or siren, which is a violation of the state law. “Evidence showed the officer was doing speeds of 75 to 92 mph at the time of impact,” added Schuelke.
On the surface, this case could be dismissed as the officer was just doing his duty and pursuing a criminal. “If you look deeper, it becomes apparent that the veteran police officer with 20 years of service had been in 13 crashes; just about one wreck per service year,” Schuelke observed. “The plaintiff further suggested that the police department chose to ignore the man’s driving record and did not investigate the accident or take any disciplinary action against the officer.”
The plaintiff’s lawyer indicated in court that the police felt the accident was “just one of those things,” and that it is not against the law for a cop to go over the speed limit without lights or siren engaged. The law states otherwise, and that is the issue in this case. “Was the police officer in violation of the law at the time of the accident? It looks like he was. However, there will likely also be an issue with the fact that the man made a left hand turn in front of a speeding police cruiser chasing a criminal,” Schuelke, an Austin personal injury lawyer, remarked.
A case could be made that the senior failed to see what was happening, and he should have been watching for oncoming traffic. Should the case go that way, it may be stated the officer had nowhere else to go but into the side of the man’s car, and as such is not negligent for trying to do his best to avoid an accident that was ultimately inevitable.
“Left-hand turn accidents are quite common, although not all of them result in death,” Schuelke said. “However, if your family has suffered a loss as a result of a traffic accident, then do not hesitate to give my office a call. We understand the situation you are in and can assist you in getting justice.”
Perlmutter & Schuelke, LLP
206 East 9th Street, Ste. 1511
Austin, TX 78701
Call (512) 476-4944
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