In the past week, a Costa Mesa police officer suffered injuries following a collision with a civilian vehicle. Several important facts are unclear: was the officer engaged in a pursuit? Was the officer at fault for causing the collision? Was the civilian? When a person is normally injured as a result of a car accident in Costa Mesa, it is common for them to pursue compensation from the at-fault person's insurance company to obtain reimbursement for medical expenses and pain and suffering. This is the case for everyday Joes like you and I, but what happens when one of the people involved is a member of the Costa Mesa PD? Do the rules change?
The Collision – December 15th, 2015 – Costa Mesa, California
Around 5:45 p.m. on Tuesday night, the local police department was called to the intersection of Fair Drive and Newport Boulevard in Costa Mesa. At the time of the collision, the southbound lanes of Fair and Newport were closed while the officer was examined by paramedics. Information about what led to the collision, whether the civilian driver suffered injuries, the extent of the officer's injuries, or really any information that would help determine fault for the collision was not made available. Lt. Greg Scott of the Costa Mesa police department provided all details obtained about the incident in question and there have yet to be any additional updates released.
Department Nightmare or Deserved Time Off?
To be clear, there is nowhere close to enough information to try and determine who was responsible for this collision. The police officer may have been engaged in pursuit and the civilian ran a red light. The civilian could have been following all laws when the police officer slammed into him or her. As of now, the possibilities are endless.
If the officer is responsible
If the police officer was responsible for this collision and the civilian suffered injuries, the civilian could file an insurance claim to obtain compensation for any medical expenses and other costs arising from the collision. Ambulance rides, hospital stays, physical therapy, emotional therapy, and other costs that are deemed to be a direct result of the accident become damages caused by the officer. Who pays? Not the officer. Each situation is different, but keep in mind that the attornies people hire to obtain this type of compensation usually work on a contingency fee. This means that they don't get paid unless they win. Insurance companies that insure police departments and police departments themselves are often on the hook for damages, but servicemen and women do not feel the effect.
If the civilian is responsible
If the civilian is determined to have been responsible for the collision, the police officer would be able to obtain compensation for all of the damages caused by the civilian and their dangerous action. Medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and any other damage caused has the potential to be reimbursed. Who pays? Not the civilian. This is why everyone in Costa Mesa, and throughout California, is required to obtain car accident insurance. How much the insurance company pays depends upon the damages caused and the size of the insurance policy.
Need a car accident attorney for a Costa Mesa collision? Timothy J. Ryan & Associates assists those who have suffered serious injuries as a result of someone else's negligence. If you or your loved one have been injured in a car accident and are in need of a local car accident attorney, you can call (800) 838-6644 to obtain a free case evaluation with no obligation to retain services. Timothy J. Ryan & Associates has helped to recover over $1 billion on behalf of thousands of California injury victims. Their office is located in Huntington Beach, California.