What Happens When Miami Police Cause a Car Accident?
If you get into a car accident with a Miami police officer, you likely wonder about the legal implications. Are the police protected in some way that prevents you from suing them? The short answer is no. However, that does not mean that suing for a car accident a Miami police officer caused is a straightforward matter.
Miami police officers are employees of the City of Miami. This is the agency that has responsibility for the actions of the Miami Police Department. When a Miami police officer causes a car accident, it will be the city that bears the brunt of their negligence. However, any Miami car accident lawyer will tell you that pursuing a claim without legal support could spell the end of your case. Important factors and time limits special to these types of cases could prevent you from recovering compensation if not properly observed.
What if a Miami Police Officer Caused My Car Accident?
Car accidents involving Miami police officers can have significant consequences for victims. Fortunately, Miami police officers are typically subject to the same liability laws as civilians when it comes to car accidents. This means that victims can pursue compensation for damages caused by the negligent actions of police officers. However, there are some additional hurdles to overcome before you can go directly to filing a lawsuit.
Pursuing a claim against a government agency can be a complex process that requires adherence to specific protocols. Generally, government entities are protected from lawsuits, but there are some circumstances where a claim can be filed against a governmental authority, such as with the City of Miami, which has jurisdiction over the Miami Police Department.
In Florida, holding a police officer liable for a car accident requires proving negligence. Several factors contribute to establishing negligence, including speeding, distracted driving, failure to comply with traffic laws, or engaging in reckless behavior. Therefore, it is important to thoroughly investigate the circumstances surrounding the accident to determine if negligence can be established.
Who Do I Sue if a Miami Police Officer Injured Me in a Car Accident?
Experiencing a car accident is a traumatic event, but it gets even worse when the responsible driver is a Miami police officer. When a police officer is involved in an accident, determining liability is not a straightforward matter. The question of who to hold accountable arises, the officer or the employer, that is, the municipality they work for.
In most cases, if the police officer who caused the accident was driving and acting within their scope of employment, you cannot sue the employee for damages but rather the employer. In the case of a Miami police officer, the employer to sue would be the City of Miami government.
There are only a few situations where it can be demonstrated that the employee is not acting within their scope of employment, such as when the officer is grossly negligent or using the government vehicle for personal activities. In such situations, you would usually not be able to pursue damages against the city but from the individual officer instead. However, before you proceed to file a lawsuit against the city, some crucial steps need to be completed.
How Do I Recover Compensation After My Car Accident with a Miami Police Officer?
If you are involved in an accident with a Miami police officer, it is important to know that city governments are protected by something called "sovereign immunity." This legal concept can make it difficult to bring claims against the city, often resulting in long and complicated legal battles or no compensation at all. However, if you can prove definite negligence on the part of a city employee or agency, you might have a valid claim.
Filing a Notice of Claim
The process of making a claim against the city is different from a normal personal injury claim. First, you will need to file a "notice of claim" with the City of Miami's Claims Division. You can either file online or call (877) 647-4545 to get started. Be prepared to provide specific details about the incident, your full name, and contact information. If you have any additional evidence, such as a police report, photos of the incident scene and damages, repair estimates, or medical bills, be sure to include it in your claim. This can help speed up the process and improve your chances of success.
After you have submitted your notice of claim, you will need to wait an additional six months before taking any further legal action. This waiting period is mandatory and cannot be waived. During this time, the government might investigate the incident and determine whether or not it is at fault.
However, most government agencies do not admit to fault and pay compensation. In fact, it is much more common for claimants to wait out the six-month period and then file a personal injury claim with the assistance of an attorney. Fortunately, you can submit the same evidence and information with your lawsuit.
The Cap on Monetary Damages
Another important catch is that there is a cap on the amount of damages that any single plaintiff can receive from the city. Currently, the maximum amount of compensation a plaintiff can receive is $200,000. This means that if your damages exceed this amount, you will only be able to collect up to $200,000 from the city. It is important to keep this in mind when considering whether or not to pursue legal action against the city.
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