Law enforcement officers often face dangerous situations in the course of performing their job duties; however, typically those hazards are not caused by fellow officers. When a police officer sustains injuries caused by a co-worker, he or she is not without legal remedies.
Recently, a West Hartford police officer filed a lawsuit against the other officer who caused the injuries and the city for whom they were both employed.
The suit arose from a car accident in April 2010, when both officers were involved in a traffic stop of another vehicle they suspected had been stolen. The officer, who would later be injured, stopped his squad car in the middle of an intersection in an effort to halt traffic. The second officer, who was following the first, crashed into the first officer's cruiser as the officer was getting out of the vehicle.
The impact caused the officer to be thrown against the squad car. The lawsuit contends he suffered a variety of personal injuries, including a dislocated shoulder, trauma to the head, and sprains to the neck, back and shoulders. The suit further alleges these injuries have prevented the officer from completing his job responsibilities in the same manner as before the crash.
The lawsuit outlines a number of specific areas in which the injured officer contends the second officer acted improperly, including:
•· Failing to "keep a proper lookout"
•· Driving "at a greater rate of speed than the circumstances warranted"
•· Following the injured officer's squad car "too closely"
•· Failing to prevent the accident
For those who have been injured in a car accident, consulting with an experienced personal injury attorney can ensure their rights are protected.
Source: Hartford Courant, "West Hartford Cop Sues Fellow Police Officer After 2010 Crash," Vanessa De La Torre, July 3, 2012.