Maryland Police Car Accident and Police Brutality Settlements

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Saiontz & Kirk, PA, Attorneys & Lawyers, Baltimore, MD

Police officers and law enforcement officials have a responsibility to protect society and enforce the law. The public rely on police officers and place their confidence in them to act appropriately. However, in rare instances, an officer may go too far, use too much force or make a bad decision that can have tragic consequences.

If a police officer abuses their power by using excessive or unnecessary force, or negligently causes a car accident that could have been avoided, financial compensation can be pursued under Maryland law. However, there are specific steps that must be taken to preserve your right to pursue a case against a police department.

The Baltimore police injury lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. have experience handling lawsuits for police misconduct and negligence, including claims for:

  • Police Car Accidents
  • Pedestrians Hit By Police Cars
  • Police Brutality or Excessive Use of Force
  • Inappropriate or Excessive Use of a Taser Gun
  • Wrongful Police Shootings
  • False Arrest or Imprisonment
  • Other Police Negligence

To review a potential claim for a catastrophic injury suffered by yourself, a friend or family member, request a free consultation.

How Do I File A Lawsuit Over Police Brutality or a Police Car Accident?

If a personal injury or wrongful death was caused by police misconduct, it is important to contact a qualified Maryland personal injury lawyer to make sure your legal rights are protected and the proper notice requirements are met.

Limited time is available to pursue a police injury lawsuit under Maryland law, and every day you wait may result in insufficient time to properly investigate and pursue your claim.

Unlike a typical personal injury or automobile accident injury lawsuit, claims involving local or Maryland state government employees must be presented under the Local Government Tort Claims Act or State Government Tort Claims Act, depending on where the injury took place and what police departments were involved.

The Maryland legislature has placed very specific requirements on lawsuits against police officers or government entities, which must be satisfied before any police settlement can be obtained for injuries caused by an officer during the scope of their employment.

Notice requirements under the State or Local Government Tort Claims Act are much shorter than the normal three year statute of limitations for a Maryland personal injury claim. Proper notice of any claim for damages against a local or government must be presented within one year following the incident, and there are very specific requirements about how the notice must be provided.

The Maryland police brutality and car accident lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. provide free consultations and claim evaluations to help individuals understand the requirements that must be met and legal options that are available. There are no up-front costs associated with hiring our law firm, and we only receive an attorney fee or expenses if a settlement or recovery is obtained in your case.

Do You Have a Baltimore Police Injury Lawsuit?

Maryland Police Abuse and Misconduct Lawsuits

Despite advances in civil rights, police brutality and police misconduct continue to be problems in Baltimore, Maryland and throughout the United States. When an officer steps outside of the bounds of their authority and violates the civil rights of a citizen, it not only has the potential to result in severe physical injury but damages the public’s trust in police officers.

Our Maryland police brutality lawyers not only seek financial compensation for injuries caused by abuse or misconduct, but the legal system acts as an important safeguard in our society to ensure that the appropriate standards for use of force are followed.

Police Brutality and Excessive Use of Force

Police officers are only permitted to use force in proportion to the situation at hand and the threat posed by another person. When excessive force is used that violates an individual’s civil rights results, settlement benefits may be available if it results in substantial personal injury, traumatic brain injury or wrongful death.

Police Taser Injury Lawsuits

Although many people believe that Taser Stun Guns only deliver non-lethal force, Amnesty International has linked at least 334 deaths to police Taser use. According to a report released by Amnesty, victims were unarmed and did not appear to present a serious threat in 90% of the Taser gun deaths they examined. Repeated shocking and excessive Taser use could cause permanent and potentially fatal injury, and Maryland Police Taser lawsuits can be pursued if an injury resulted from the unnecessary use of this stun gun.

Police Shooting Deaths

A firearm should only be drawn by a police officer as a last resort, and in situations where an officer negligently or intentionally injures or kills someone in an unjustified police shooting, compensation may be available through a police wrongful death lawsuit.

False Arrest or Wrongful Imprisonment

The police do not have unlimited authority to arrest or detain people. A police officer must have a reasonable suspicion and probable cause to detain someone for any length of time. Placing someone in prison or jail in an unjustified situation can result in serious financial or emotional damage for an individual.

Police K-9 Dog Bite Injuries

While K-9’s are used for multiple purposes in law enforcement, including narcotic and bomb detections, they are also highly trained to use a bite-and-hold technique to subdue suspects. However, studies have shown that roughly 3,600 suspects and innocent bystanders were treated in emergency rooms for a police dog bite injury between 2005 and 2013.

Police Car Accident Lawyers

Car accidents involving police vehicles and first responders are surprisingly common. In fact, the Bureau of Justice reports that on average, 355 people are killed annually as a result of a police-pursuit car crash and thousands are injured.

While special privileges are provided to police officers in emergency situations, they still must exercise reasonable care to avoid injuring innocent civilians, including other drivers, pedestrians and cyclists. In addition, the police car must follow the same rules of the road as other drivers when not responding to an emergency.

Can I Sue A Police Officer That Hit My Car?

Pursuing compensation for personal injuries, car repair damages, lost wages and other benefits following a police vehicle crash in Maryland can be complicated, due to the qualified immunity given to state and local government employees. However, the Baltimore police car accident lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. are here to help.

Under Maryland law, police officers and first responders are granted a privilege that is called qualified immunity, which allows them to commit traffic violations under certain circumstances, as long as they are acting in the proper course of their duty in response to an emergency.

The police officer, medic or driver of an emergency vehicle may exercise the privileges granted under this qualified immunity to pass a red or stop signal, a stop sign, disregard traffic control devices and exceed the speed limit, among other privileges, while responding to an emergency.

When an officer or first responder is using the privileges granted under their qualified immunity in the proper course of their duty and causes damages, an individual may be barred from pursuing a lawsuit against the state or local government.

However, there are exceptions to an officer’s qualified immunity under Maryland law, which may allow an individual to obtain a police negligence settlement from the state or local government. If the officer acted in a malicious or grossly negligent manner, or outside of the proper course of duty, financial compensation may be available.

Negligence or malicious behavior may be established when a police officer causes a car accident while;

  • Failing to clear an intersection
  • Failing to use emergency lights and sirens
  • Engaging in dangerous pursuit that puts the public in danger
  • Excessive speeding
  • Recklessly driving while not in pursuit
  • Driving while intoxicated or under the influence
  • Disobeying traffic laws while off-duty

If you or a loved one were injured in a police crash, the Baltimore car accident lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. can guide you through the complex claim process and help you understand the legal rights that may be available. Getting a lawyer for a Maryland police vehicle accident will make sure you are not taken advantage and help maximize your Maryland car accident settlement.

How Much In Damages Can I Recover From A Police Car Accident?

Maryland has strict limits on the amount you are able to recover against a state or local government entity. A lawsuit filed under the Maryland Government Tort Claims Act limits recover up to $400,000 per victim involved in the accident, or $800,000 per incident.

Legislators have argued for years that Maryland’s cap on damages from government agency’s is far too low, and does not allow victims of negligence to recover fair and just compensation for those wrongfully killed by police, or those who suffer injuries that could result in a lifetime of medical expenses.

Baltimore Police Injury Attorneys

While many egregious police abuse cases are reported by the media in high profile instances, many cases of improper conduct are never investigated or pursued. Unfortunately, obtaining the evidence necessary to pursue a police brutality lawsuit can be difficult.

The police misconduct attorneys at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. provide free consultations to help determine whether financial compensation may be available for serious personal injury or wrongful death from police abuse or negligence. There are no fees or expenses unless a recovery is obtained.

If you, a friend or family member have been the victim of police brutality, wrongful arrest or a police car accident, request a free consultation.