Police officers are trusted to maintain order and safety among the public. Unfortunately, in some cases, they themselves become involved in events that lead to injuries. This is particularly true of car accidents.
When police officers respond to an emergency, they often do so at high speed. Though they are supposed to maintain a responsible emergency speed, the fact is car accidents can still occur while officers are racing to perform their duties.
This was apparently the case in Los Angeles this month, when a two-car crash left seven people injured. Four of the victims were LAPD officers.
The accident occurred in Glassell Park as the four officers were responding to a call for backup. The officers were riding in an unmarked sedan with lights and sirens activated. As they entered an intersection, they collided with an SUV.
Four officers were injured in the collision, two of them seriously. Three occupants of the SUV were also injured; all seven victims required hospitalization. Their conditions were unknown in the hours after the accident.
It is not clear who is at fault for this accident. It is easy to blame the civilian driver in accidents like these, by stating that he or she should have heard the siren coming and proceeded more cautiously. But, police officers can also be blamed for causing an accident: driving too quickly, even in an emergency situation, is recklessly dangerous and can easily lead to a crash.
The accident is under investigation. More details will likely be revealed in the coming weeks.
In cases like this, either side can have a valid claim for a personal injury suit, depending on the details. Those who are struck by police cars can file a lawsuit against the city, claiming the officer was negligent. Officers who are hurt by civilians have a right to claim workers' compensation, but they can also make a third party claim against a negligent driver who caused their injury, enabling them to receive additional financial support.
Source: KCAL-TV, "Crash Involving LAPD Cruiser Injures 7 In Glassell Park" No author given, Mar. 17, 2014