What Do I Do If I’m Hit by an Off-Duty Police Officer in Houston?
There are special rules when it comes to an off-duty police officer and motor vehicle accidents. Generally speaking, if a cop gets into an accident while on duty, he won’t be held personally responsible for any injuries. As long as he’s doing something in furtherance of his job and public safety, he’s immune from civil liability.
A lot of people worry that the same rule applies to cops who aren’t on duty. And, Houston personal injury lawyers understand this concern. If you’re hit by a cop who isn’t on duty, what do you do? Call the cops? Well yes – you have no choice.
You have to call the police after any car accident. First of all, it’s the law. Second of all, you need to protect yourself. If you need to file a lawsuit later on, you’re going to need a police report. You also want to make sure the other driver doesn’t give you false information.
The problem in this situation is, what are the cops going to do? What are the odds that a police officer is going to state that a fellow officer was at fault for your car accident? Honestly, they’re not very good. Best case, the responding officer states that it’s not possible to determine who was at fault. This way, he can leave it up to the insurance company to determine fault.
Who Do You Call if You’re Involved in an Accident with an Off-Duty Officer?
If you get into an accident with an off-duty police officer, you still have to call the cops. You probably won’t even realize he’s an off-duty officer at first. He may tell you that he’s an officer. He may even tell you there’s no reason to call the police. Or, you may not pick up on the fact that he’s a cop until the other officer arrives at the scene. He will surely let him know that he’s a fellow officer of the law.
At this point, you’ll have to worry that the police will determine that you’re at fault. You are going to want to call a Houston car accident lawyer right away. You want to get someone on your side right away. Your lawyer may even be able to come to the accident scene, depending on how close he is. He can help you document the accident scene as best he can.
If you are on your own, there are a few things you need to do:
- Take pictures of the accident scene
- Take pictures of the cars and their damage
- Videotape as much of the scene as you can. If you can tape any exchanges between the off-duty officer and the responding officer, do it. This may be the only evidence your lawyer will have later on to show that there was some bias at the scene.
- You also want to try to get the contact information for any eye-witnesses. Your lawyer is going to need this information later on. He will have to interview them and see what they saw on the day of the accident.
Even with this information, you may have a hard time proving fault.
Your Houston Car Accident Lawyer Can Help Prove Fault
No matter who the other driver is, your lawyer is going to push hard to prove they were at fault. This case will be treated the same as any other case. Until you run into any obvious bias, you have no real reason to worry. Your lawyer will make sure to talk to the insurance adjuster about the fact that the other driver was a cop. He won’t let you be taken advantage of.
As far as eliminating that bias, there’s only so much your lawyer can do. However, your odds of recovering for your injuries are much better with an attorney than without one. If you try to handle this matter yourself, you will more than likely be taken advantage of. Your Houston car accident attorney has a lot of experience dealing with cases just like yours. He knows what to look out for. He will also make sure the court knows there could be a potential bias involved.
Call a Houston Car Accident Lawyer Right Away
If you’re involved in a car accident with an off-duty police officer, you need a Houston car accident lawyer. Schedule a free initial consultation with McDonald Worley right away. An experienced attorney can review your case and let you know what it may be worth. He’ll also do his best to make sure you’re not taken advantage of. The consultation is free and you pay nothing unless you win your case.