Hit a cop car, help?

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Bandit390
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Hit a cop car, help?

Post by Bandit390 »

So we are traveling down a road and a cop car decides to pull off to the side, but at the last second he pulls back into the road to do a U-turn and I hit him in the drivers side. They did have to call a state tropper to do the report and at the end, he told me he has not yet decided who's fault it was. Also, he didn't give me a ticket.

There was a guy in the vehicle behind me that stopped and gave a police report of what happened and backed my story up. But anyways, I don't care to argue who's fault it was. I'm mainly here for help if it turns out to by my fault and I get fines/etc because I hit a cop car.

I don't even know what kind of consequences there could be, but any help would be appreciated. I see the worse case scenario being that its my fault and my insurance goes up a little and I lose out on a $500 deductible from my insurance check (I had full cover). If it is determined my fault, would it be worth to fit it? Anything else?
livesoft
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Post by livesoft »

Since a police report has been filed, you already called your insurance agent right? If not, why not? Come back and tell us what they say. I assume the cop's insurance will pay for your damages.
Triple digit golfer
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Post by Triple digit golfer »

1. Call your insurance company.
2. Fight fight fight. You are right here. You have a witness to back you up.
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JMacDonald
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Post by JMacDonald »

Hi,
It sounds like there is only property damage. Nobody got hurt. Cars can be fixed. Let your insurance handle this for you.
Best Wishes, | Joe
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Bounca
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Post by Bounca »

Do you think it was your fault, truthfully? You're not really hinting your opinion.
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Opponent Process
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Post by Opponent Process »

a tough one. technically you were behind him and hit him, and from what I understand the trailing person is (completely arbitrarily) defined as at fault in these cases.
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Smurf
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Post by Smurf »

If the trooper hasn't decided who's fault it is and you didn't get a ticket then you can bet that your insurance company is going to fight with the cops insurance company and you probably won't have to pay anything since the cop's job requires them to sometimes break traffic laws. Insurance companies deal with this all the time.
jbmitt
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Post by jbmitt »

Plan on filing through your insurance. Most emergency vehicles and public vehicles do not carry liability insurance. They claim sovereign immunity and are only responsible for out of pocket expenses. For example your deductible, or rental if you don't carry it on your policy. Your insurer will eat the cost of your repairs as a 'cost of doing business'.
Ping Pong
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Post by Ping Pong »

Opponent Process wrote:a tough one. technically you were behind him and hit him, and from what I understand the trailing person is (completely arbitrarily) defined as at fault in these cases.
Not really. He hit the cop car on the drivers side, which means the cop car was going perpendicular to traffic.
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preserve
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Post by preserve »

Your probably going to have to fight it.

If the cop is not at fault in the report, the insurance company is going to try to collect the deductible from you.

In most states, you don't have to pay the deductible if the police report states your not at fault.
Last edited by preserve on Sat Jun 20, 2009 10:03 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Quasimodo
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Post by Quasimodo »

Report it to your insurance company or agent. Don't let worry about your rates possibly going up make you hesitate to report an accident. Take your car in for a repair estimate. Don't hesitate to get everyone in your car checked for injuries. Let your insurance company deal with it. Thank goodness no one had to be carted off in an ambulance.

I'm not sure whether sovereign immunity would apply to the possible liability of the police car, but you have insurance so don't worry about it.

Good luck!

John
Last edited by Quasimodo on Sat Jun 20, 2009 10:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Adrian Nenu
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Post by Adrian Nenu »

File a citizens' complaint with officer's law enforcement agency, get written statements from any witnesses, take photos of the damage and contact your insurance company. From your description of events, the collision was clearly the police officer's fault.

Adrian
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tibbitts
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Post by tibbitts »

You exchanged insurance information, I assume. We were involved in an accident recently, and although we notified our insurance, we requested payment directly from the other party (their insurance company.) Our company was not involved. The other company wrote us a check and we paid the body shop. The body shop made some additional repairs and billed that same insurance company directly for those.

Obviously what to do depends on whether you think you were at fault. If not, go after the other insurance company.

In this case as you described, I really don't think it matters that the other car was a police car, since it was not operating in any kind of emergency mode. So it was just a plain traffic accident.

Paul
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Post by DaveS »

Adrian Nenu wrote:File a citizens' complaint with officer's law enforcement agency,

Adrian
anenu@tampabay.rr.com
I am a lawyer and I find the above advice to be DEAD WRONG. The last thing you want to do is be aggressive, offensive, belligerent etc. Do it and you are almost daring the municipality to use it's unlimited resources to shut you up and maybe teach you a lesson. 1) The fact you were not charged with anything is almost an admission you were not at fault. Normally they would give you a ticket for something. 2) I read the officer's statement to you that he had not decided who was at fault, to be the result of training not to make admissions, not any indecision. So make the claim with your carrier and keep you mouth shut. Maybe you pay $500 for the deductible, big deal. Having an accident every once in a while is a part of using the roads. IE a cost of doing business. Dave
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Post by tibbitts »

DaveS wrote:
Adrian Nenu wrote:File a citizens' complaint with officer's law enforcement agency,

Adrian
anenu@tampabay.rr.com
I am a lawyer and I find the above advice to be DEAD WRONG. The last thing you want to do is be aggressive, offensive, belligerent etc. Do it and you are almost daring the municipality to use it's unlimited resources to shut you up and maybe teach you a lesson. 1) The fact you were not charged with anything is almost an admission you were not at fault. Normally they would give you a ticket for something. 2) I read the officer's statement to you that he had not decided who was at fault, to be the result of training not to make admissions, not any indecision. So make the claim with your carrier and keep you mouth shut. Maybe you pay $500 for the deductible, big deal. Having an accident every once in a while is a part of using the roads. IE a cost of doing business. Dave
I don't see why you'd complain since so far you don't have anything to complain about. It was an accident. But I don't see why you shouldn't contact the other insurance company. If the police are self insured, then I'd call them and ask who to contact for payment. $500 is a big deal to most of us, so eating it (if not required) is certainly not an acceptable option.

Paul
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Post by SP-diceman »

The last thing you want to do is be aggressive, offensive, belligerent etc. Do it and you are almost daring the municipality to use it's unlimited resources to shut you up and maybe teach you a lesson.
That depends if its like California they may not have unlimited resources.

(heh, heh, just kidding)


Thanks
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allsop
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Post by allsop »

Ping Pong wrote:
Opponent Process wrote:a tough one. technically you were behind him and hit him, and from what I understand the trailing person is (completely arbitrarily) defined as at fault in these cases.
Not really. He hit the cop car on the drivers side, which means the cop car was going perpendicular to traffic.
If the driver kept his distance it would not be a problem, I assume, but he did not it appears. However, if the police car actually stopped at the side and then turned it could be argued that the police car had parked and different rules apply :D
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BobbieD
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Post by BobbieD »

I know getting into an accident can be very troubling and cause you a lot of concern. But really accidents happen all the time and that's why you have insurance. No one was injured, no tickets given, it's just a car door that needs to be repaired. Report it to your insurance company and don't worry about it.
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Adrian Nenu
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Post by Adrian Nenu »

I am a lawyer and I find the above advice to be DEAD WRONG. The last thing you want to do is be aggressive, offensive, belligerent etc. Do it and you are almost daring the municipality to use it's unlimited resources to shut you up and maybe teach you a lesson. 1) The fact you were not charged with anything is almost an admission you were not at fault. Normally they would give you a ticket for something. 2) I read the officer's statement to you that he had not decided who was at fault, to be the result of training not to make admissions, not any indecision. So make the claim with your carrier and keep you mouth shut. Maybe you pay $500 for the deductible, big deal. Having an accident every once in a while is a part of using the roads. IE a cost of doing business. Dave
- I have been in "the business" over 21 years so I have some knowledge of how these things work out as viewed from the "other side". Filing a citizens' complaint means that you believe that the officer was negligent and you want to be compensated for your losses. The citizens' complaint will carry some weight to ensure that the incident is properly investigated and not shoved under the carpet. You have to have a paperwork trail to support your argument. The agency will not drag you through the legal system and expose itself to bad public relations due to a vehicular accident which is the fault of an employee. After the citizens' complaint is filed, the agency's legal representative will contact you or your insurance company with a settlement offer. Law enforcement agencies have better things to do than to waste time & money on legal fights with citizens over minor accidents. They want a quick settlement to get it over with. The bottom line is that you have nothing to lose and a lot to gain by filing a citizens' complaint when you believe a law enforcement officer acted incorrectly or negligently.

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tetractys
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Post by tetractys »

First, very glad to hear no-one was hurt. But are you absolutely sure your ok? You might want to get checked and make sure everything's in alignment and your muscles and tendons haven't knotted up anywhere.

I agree that you should let your insurance company handle it. I think part of the premium you pay includes your insurance company going to bat for you when it's appropriate.

If you had complete control of your lane of travel when the officer crossed into it, let your insurance company know.

Best regards, Tet
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Bandit390
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Post by Bandit390 »

jbmitt wrote:Plan on filing through your insurance. Most emergency vehicles and public vehicles do not carry liability insurance. They claim sovereign immunity and are only responsible for out of pocket expenses. For example your deductible, or rental if you don't carry it on your policy. Your insurer will eat the cost of your repairs as a 'cost of doing business'.
The above poster is correct....per my state farm rep. State farm said they would never get paid for the accident and the police might pay my deductible.

But one of the first things I did was contact my insurance company and they submitted a claim last night, but couldn't do much else. This morning they called to get my story, set up a rent a car and said they would let me know. But they haven't got any police reports yet.

But I am glad we are all good and that I have a decent size emergency fund saved up =)

PS I'm a student and work part-time so $500 is a two week paycheck to me and I don't want to pay it. But if I have too, well......A lawyer/etc would probably cost more.
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Post by chaz »

Bandit390 wrote:
jbmitt wrote:Plan on filing through your insurance. Most emergency vehicles and public vehicles do not carry liability insurance. They claim sovereign immunity and are only responsible for out of pocket expenses. For example your deductible, or rental if you don't carry it on your policy. Your insurer will eat the cost of your repairs as a 'cost of doing business'.
The above poster is correct....per my state farm rep. State farm said they would never get paid for the accident and the police might pay my deductible.

But one of the first things I did was contact my insurance company and they submitted a claim last night, but couldn't do much else. This morning they called to get my story, set up a rent a car and said they would let me know. But they haven't got any police reports yet.

But I am glad we are all good and that I have a decent size emergency fund saved up =)

PS I'm a student and work part-time so $500 is a two week paycheck to me and I don't want to pay it. But if I have too, well......A lawyer/etc would probably cost more.
If you weren't hurt, only property damage, then a lawyer wouldn't be interested. You can file a small claims action against the city (employer of the cop doing the U-turn in front of you).
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Opponent Process
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Post by Opponent Process »

SP-diceman wrote:That depends if its like California they may not have unlimited resources.
I wonder if CHiPs may soon be at the point of employing some swoop-and-squat techniques to precipitate "accidents". :shock:
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sergeant
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Post by sergeant »

Relax! No big deal. I have been in the business for 26 years with 5 years spent in charge of our traffic division. I am a trained reconstructionist and based on what you have posted the cop will be found at fault.

The cop screwed up, it happens all the time. DO NOT file a complaint against the cop. He will receive some sort of discipline for being at fault. He doesn't need a complaint in his file as well.

The cop had another agency respond to investigate the crash. This is a good thing. This shows they want an independent investigation that does not favor the cop. We almost never say who is at fault at the crash scene as sometimes other info is obtained that can change the primary collision factor.
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Post by mtl325 »

Adrian Nenu wrote:
I am a lawyer and I find the above advice to be DEAD WRONG. The last thing you want to do is be aggressive, offensive, belligerent etc. Do it and you are almost daring the municipality to use it's unlimited resources to shut you up and maybe teach you a lesson. 1) The fact you were not charged with anything is almost an admission you were not at fault. Normally they would give you a ticket for something. 2) I read the officer's statement to you that he had not decided who was at fault, to be the result of training not to make admissions, not any indecision. So make the claim with your carrier and keep you mouth shut. Maybe you pay $500 for the deductible, big deal. Having an accident every once in a while is a part of using the roads. IE a cost of doing business. Dave
- I have been in "the business" over 21 years so I have some knowledge of how these things work out as viewed from the "other side". Filing a citizens' complaint means that you believe that the officer was negligent and you want to be compensated for your losses. The citizens' complaint will carry some weight to ensure that the incident is properly investigated and not shoved under the carpet. You have to have a paperwork trail to support your argument. The agency will not drag you through the legal system and expose itself to bad public relations due to a vehicular accident which is the fault of an employee. After the citizens' complaint is filed, the agency's legal representative will contact you or your insurance company with a settlement offer. Law enforcement agencies have better things to do than to waste time & money on legal fights with citizens over minor accidents. They want a quick settlement to get it over with. The bottom line is that you have nothing to lose and a lot to gain by filing a citizens' complaint when you believe a law enforcement officer acted incorrectly or negligently.

Adrian
anenu@tampabay.rr.com
Sorry to dig up an old post but ....

Adrian, no offense. But this is the perfect example of why someone should not take legal advice from an anonymous internet message board. OP gave no indication of adversarial proceedings. As someone in the business for only 2 years, even I know that there's no reason to fire your gun until necessary.

This is the kind of advice that gives all lawyers a bad name. The insurance company will deal with the property damage. Due to our over-litigious society, I imagine the municipality is hoping that a personal injury suit is not filed and will therefore play nice until suit is threatened.
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Post by Tramper Al »

So, did the State Trooper give a ticket to the officer whose car you struck? You know, the guy who pulled out across traffic without signal or other warning and caused the accident?

I have to say, too many of the cars I see making stupid, aggressive, and reckless driving maneuvers are black and white. I know those Crown Vics at least originally come with turn signals and speedometers.
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Post by cjackson0 »

Tramper Al wrote:I know those Crown Vics at least originally come with turn signals and speedometers.
:lol:
mm3204
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Post by mm3204 »

So this is actually my first post on here (I've been reading it for about 3 weeks now that I've discovered it). I work for an insurance company in the claims department as a liability claims rep so I thought I should add my slightly experienced perspective.

First off, report it to your insurance. In this case it sounds like you feel bad for the police and don't want to fight for liability, but you need someone to fight for it on your behalf. That is what your insurance will do. They will investigate it by getting statements and police reports and show how the officer has T bone damage when you were driving straight down the road.

Normally reporting it isn't a huge concern because insurance companies are all the same and will find out what happened somewhere along the line and its all regulated by the insurance commissioner to ensure it is fair, but with most police, they are self insured by the city or the state. So they do have nearly unlimited resources to fight you and I'm assuming you don't have the same amount of money at your resource as your insurance company does. Also, officially, as long as your insurance company finds you not at fault, they will repair your car and pay for your injuries without increasing your premiums, even if they don't ever get reimbursed by the police (your insurance may not even ask the police to reimburse due to the trouble of trying to collect from the state). This is a reason why police are never cited on a report, its easier for them to fight liability at the end if they aren't cited.

Let me know if you have any specific questions that I can answer for you.
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Post by Smurf »

Bandit - As others have said since no one was hurt let the insurance company deal with it and move on. Sweating the small stuff in life isn't worth the headaches and lost sleep. 3 months from now this won't even be an issue. I wouldn't sue anyone, or file any complaints. It's not worth the hassle.
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Bandit390
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Post by Bandit390 »

Update:

Cops insurance company denied liability. Then told me to pass their number/claim number to my insurance company. They called me earlier today and said they just got the report and wanted my side to start working on it, then about 3-4 hours later called to deny liability. So I guess the cops do have insurance, but then again the insurance rep said she represents the "town of X".

My insurance company has still not determined whos fault it is.

The state trooper at the scene told me he has not decided who is at fault and I could get a report in a couple of days. Still no update on that, but I don't plan on wasting gas, time and $7.50 to find out, when my insurance will hopefully let me know.

On a side note, my local insurance agent is no help out all. I called about what this could do to my premium and was referred to the 1-800 number and overall seemed she did not want to deal with me. But then four different people at the 1-800 number has told me I would need to call my local rep about my premium.

Do you have to have a local agent for state farm? If not, is it cheaper to deal with state farm directly? Also, do state farm agents try to "battle" for customers against other state farm agents?
mm3204
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Post by mm3204 »

You probably won't hear a final liability decision from your insurance company for quite some time as there isn't a final decision until checks are issued, otherwise it is always a negotiation.

You are also entitled to the police report from your insurance claims adjuster, just request one next time you talk to them and they can mail it to you when they get it.

As far as your premiums, the people at the 1 800 number can't tell you how it affects your rates as they are the ones deciding liability and it would be a conflict of interest to know how much your decision affects the person you are speaking to. It is your agent's responsibility to contact the underwriting department to find out exactly how much you will be affected but they won't know until the liability decision is finalized (basically not until the entire claim is closed).

I don't believe State Farm allows you to have insurance without a local agent. Every company is different on this one though. Also you can switch agents at any time. Just walk into another agent's office and advise you aren't happy with your service and would like to switch.
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Post by Estate145 »

It’s really appreciable and general.
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another question

Post by Brewtownphilee »

Was the officer's lights/siren activated, or did he just pull a U-turn from the shoulder? I'm assuming we're talking CA here, or am I wrong?
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verbose
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Post by verbose »

Some states have laws requiring you to change lanes away from a pulled-over emergency vehicle, if possible. If that's the case, then you're going to have a harder time here because you didn't change lanes (not sure if you could have done so).

In my experience, police departments and town governments vary widely in their integrity. What's the reputation in your community for this one?

If you currently have a clean record, expect a substantial jump in your premium. They won't tell you what it is, but just expect it to be more than you would think is reasonable. We recently went from "clean" to "one accident" and our premiums went up by 60%.

You can have State Farm without an agent, but if you do so, you'll be up a creek when you have a claim. We did this for a while because our SF agent died right after we took out our initial policy. Eventually we got another SF agent who retired less than a year later. When we finally had a homeowner's claim, we had an agent we'd never met, who did nothing for us. SF corporate is a mess. They have no idea who does what, no concept of returning your phone call, and the adjusters they sent to our home were a mixed-bag of incompetence. We no longer have SF for any of our insurance.

If I were you, I'd fight this, as politely as possible, because your premium increases are going to hurt worse than the deductible. You may not have a snowball's chance of prevailing, though. Sometimes that's the way it goes.
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Post by eurowizard »

If it were me, I would have considered letting the officer pay my damage out of his pocket and leaving the scene. Then the officer could claim he was hit while parked or something and not have paperwork filed against him at work.

Cops have a hard enough job as it is and inside their cars they have their MDT (laptop), police radio, sometimes a second police radio for a neighboring department, and personal cell phone to keep them distracted.

I think if the damage to you car was less than $1000 it would have made sense for the officer to pay you for it out of pocket and write a BS report so he isn't at fault.

On one hand, one might argue thats fraud or lying, but lets look at what really happened by "following the rules":

1) State Trooper comes by, KNOWS the other cop is at fault and BSes you about who is to blame and likely words his report very carefully so as to not make the other officer look bad

2) Both insurance companies deny liability and waste insurance-payer dollars and tax-dollars fighting eachother over what was obviously the cop's fault. This causes tax-dollars to be raised to pay the higher insurance premiums for the police and it causes everyone elses car insurance premiums to be raised as well.

3) The OP has to stress out and lose sleep over the incident and likely pay $500 out of pocket for the deductable even though it wasnt his fault.

4) The OP is going to have a bad mark put on his driving record and have his insurance premiums raised

5) The Cop is going to have a bad mark put on his work record and potentially be terminated or at least have promotions withheld.

So comparing my obviously fraudulant suggestion to the reality of what happened, my way would actually involve less overall "Badness"
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Post by Shireman28 »

Could be worse.

My grandpa accidently knocked over a parked police motorcycle one time with his truck. The officer was not impressed.
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Post by DaveH »

Adrian Nenu wrote:File a citizens' complaint with officer's law enforcement agency, get written statements from any witnesses, take photos of the damage and contact your insurance company. From your description of events, the collision was clearly the police officer's fault.

Adrian
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Definitely don't file such a complaint. You don't even know (according to your post) how this will unfold. If you are reasonably confident that you aren't at fault, I would gather all the documentation and put this to your insurance company. Let them do a bit of legwork and if you find out that the cops are saying that you are at fault, then fight them. No need to start a fight with the police department when there may be no fight to fight.

Pick your battles. I know from personal experience (I was a paramedic in LA for a long time) that when these things happen (and they happen a lot) the police department will pick their battles carefully. If nobody was hurt and there is no obvious at fault party, this might not be a big deal.

See what happens, keep your documentation, don't offer any information to anyone, and wait.
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Post by RustyShackleford »

At least you didn't get beaten or tasered.
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Post by leonard »

DaveH/mtl325 - you both object to Adrian's post based on - what I think - is a vague notion of being "confrontational". But, specifically, why shouldn't the OP take advantage of every legal option? Simply saying the officer is at fault could be considered "confrontational", but no one is suggesting the OP not say that. So, what are the specific legal reasons to not take every legal option available?

IMO - most all officers are ethical and behave in an ethical manner. However, in any dispute with an officer, their opinion tends to be weighed as more reliable than the average citizen. If I had additional legal avenues to make sure my point of view on the accident is given equal consideration, i would take all of them.

Final thought, insurance companies represent their own interests in these situations, NOT necessarily the policy holders best interest. As far as I know, the insurance company has no fiduciary responsibility to the OP. They may decide to settle, even if you don't want to, and simply pass the black mark on to the OP via higher premiums. You get marked as a higher risk, just because they decide to settle, and pay more money in premiums, even if you were not at fault. So, depending on how serious these charges get, the size of the settlement and the likelihood that you will be found at fault - you should consider hiring your own attorney, to ensure your interests are not being "settled" away by your insurance company.
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Post by DaveH »

leonard wrote:DaveH/mtl325 - you both object to Adrian's post based on - what I think - is a vague notion of being "confrontational". But, specifically, why shouldn't the OP take advantage of every legal option? Simply saying the officer is at fault could be considered "confrontational", but no one is suggesting the OP not say that. So, what are the specific legal reasons to not take every legal option available?
Why do you need to take any option? Do you even have a legal dispute? Has there been any resistance to anything by anyone? If you start complaining, you are forcing the cops to respond and maybe missing a chance for things to work out.

Why not see if anyone is claiming, denying, ignoring fault before you start acting as if you are being sued or blamed?

Taking 'all legal options' when no dispute exists seems like a way of opening the door to negative outcomes while waiting to see what actually happens keeps the door open for positive outcomes.

You lose nothing by waiting to see how the insurance process plays out, but you could lose a lot by complaining about a cop who may have no interest or intention of screwing you.
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leonard
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Post by leonard »

DaveH wrote:
leonard wrote:DaveH/mtl325 - you both object to Adrian's post based on - what I think - is a vague notion of being "confrontational". But, specifically, why shouldn't the OP take advantage of every legal option? Simply saying the officer is at fault could be considered "confrontational", but no one is suggesting the OP not say that. So, what are the specific legal reasons to not take every legal option available?
Why do you need to take any option? Do you even have a legal dispute? Has there been any resistance to anything by anyone? If you start complaining, you are forcing the cops to respond and maybe missing a chance for things to work out.
Although not definite, it is extremely possible that the cop is making calls, calling in favors with buddys at the state patrol and generally covering his/her bases. Sure, maybe they are not. But, human nature being what it is, it is likely IMO. The deck is very likely stacked against the OP. I would consider taking action now that brings things more in to balance.
Why not see if anyone is claiming, denying, ignoring fault before you start acting as if you are being sued or blamed?

Taking 'all legal options' when no dispute exists seems like a way of opening the door to negative outcomes while waiting to see what actually happens keeps the door open for positive outcomes.
The reality is that a "dispute" existed the second the cop pulled out in front of the OP. Saying there isn't a dispute or conflict at some level beginning at that point, I think ignores the reality.
You lose nothing by waiting to see how the insurance process plays out, but you could lose a lot by complaining about a cop who may have no interest or intention of screwing you.
I think the OP could have a lot to lose by waiting for the insurance process to play out. Based on personal experience, I totally disagree with this. The insurance company may pursue a settlement that reflects poorly on the OP. The insurance company will not necessarily represent the OP's interest. If it appears that the insurance company will settle in such a way that implies responsibility by the OP, I would recommned the OP get their own lawyer and file a suit, assuming there was enough adverse impact of a settlement.
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retiredjg
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Post by retiredjg »

eurowizard wrote:If it were me, I would have considered letting the officer pay my damage out of his pocket and leaving the scene. Then the officer could claim he was hit while parked or something and not have paperwork filed against him at work.
Yeah, I suppose some officers might take this route, but it would certainly put his/her job in jeopardy. It also puts the credibility of every other officer in question. Thanks buddy.

Should such a scheme ever be brought to light, the cop's reliability and credibility would forever be questioned. No prosecutor will knowingly put any cop with a history of lying on the stand. Ever.

Of what use is a cop who cannot testify in court?
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Bounca
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Post by Bounca »

Bandit390 wrote:Update:

Cops insurance company denied liability. Then told me to pass their number/claim number to my insurance company. They called me earlier today and said they just got the report and wanted my side to start working on it, then about 3-4 hours later called to deny liability. So I guess the cops do have insurance, but then again the insurance rep said she represents the "town of X".

My insurance company has still not determined whos fault it is.

The state trooper at the scene told me he has not decided who is at fault and I could get a report in a couple of days. Still no update on that, but I don't plan on wasting gas, time and $7.50 to find out, when my insurance will hopefully let me know.

On a side note, my local insurance agent is no help out all. I called about what this could do to my premium and was referred to the 1-800 number and overall seemed she did not want to deal with me. But then four different people at the 1-800 number has told me I would need to call my local rep about my premium.

Do you have to have a local agent for state farm? If not, is it cheaper to deal with state farm directly? Also, do state farm agents try to "battle" for customers against other state farm agents?
I’m still so curious if you think it is your fault, which was my original question early on. There is more to this topic/debate/discussion depending on your answer.
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Opponent Process
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Post by Opponent Process »

Bounca wrote:I’m still so curious if you think it is your fault, which was my original question early on. There is more to this topic/debate/discussion depending on your answer.
me too. I still think you might be at fault here. the cop could have been doing donuts in the middle of the road while firing his gun into the air and whistling dixie, but you were still approaching from behind. I believe the general rule is you have to allow space for pretty much anything. at least with this technicality, they might be fighting you.
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DaveH
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Post by DaveH »

I don't get why some posts have such an adversarial tone against the cop. This kind of thing happens ALL the time and it doesn't serve the cops to be screwing everyone - they have insurance, too, and just want to get on with it. When I drove an ambulance, I witnessed and was involved in multiple accidents - it happens when you are driving around all day.

What would this 'complaint' be? Like this:

"I was driving and was involved in an accident with Officer So and So. The officer did not coerce me to accept guilt and attempt to blame me. He did not arrest me or write me a ticket. He followed protocol by calling in a 3rd party organization to write the report, to avoid any conflict of issue that could result by having one of his friends write the report. Since the accident I have not been harassed or contacted. There is no evidence that I am being screwed in any way."

What are we talking about here? The stakes seem low - is this really different than it would be if the exact same accident happened with a civilian?
The fewer our wants, the nearer we resemble the gods. — Socrates
retiredjg
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Post by retiredjg »

Bandit, don't despair yet. The remedy may not be through the department or through the department's insurance (or insurance pool if uninsured).

For example, it this were a federal officer, you would recover your loss through the Federal Tort Claims Act. It is quite likely that the state, county, or municipality has something similar. As one poster said above, it could even be small claims court.

Jurisdictions vary quite a lot. You'll just have to figure out how the system works and then work it.
leonard
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Post by leonard »

DaveH wrote:I don't get why some posts have such an adversarial tone against the cop. This kind of thing happens ALL the time and it doesn't serve the cops to be screwing everyone - they have insurance, too, and just want to get on with it.
Maybe this is the cops 5th accident in a year and he/she will be disciplined for a 6th? Maybe they have an incentive to work behind the scenes, call in favors? It is worth the effort to make sure your rights are covered.
DaveH wrote:What are we talking about here? The stakes seem low - is this really different than it would be if the exact same accident happened with a civilian?
Yes, it is different than a civilian. Cops are seen as more reliable, trustworthy etc. with another civilian, it is your word against theirs and you are perceived equally.

Appreciate your point of view though.
Leonard | | Market Timing: Do you seriously think you can predict the future? What else do the voices tell you? | | If employees weren't taking jobs with bad 401k's, bad 401k's wouldn't exist.
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DaveH
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Post by DaveH »

leonard wrote:
DaveH wrote:I don't get why some posts have such an adversarial tone against the cop. This kind of thing happens ALL the time and it doesn't serve the cops to be screwing everyone - they have insurance, too, and just want to get on with it.
Maybe this is the cops 5th accident in a year and he/she will be disciplined for a 6th? Maybe they have an incentive to work behind the scenes, call in favors? It is worth the effort to make sure your rights are covered.
DaveH wrote:What are we talking about here? The stakes seem low - is this really different than it would be if the exact same accident happened with a civilian?
Yes, it is different than a civilian. Cops are seen as more reliable, trustworthy etc. with another civilian, it is your word against theirs and you are perceived equally.

Appreciate your point of view though.
I appreciate your point of view, too. So, why not explore this a bit further :)

1) Even if it's the cop's 6th accident, it's still in the OP's favor to wait and see where guilt is assigned for the accident before they agitate the situation. If he's at fault, agitating the cops can only make it worse. If he's not at fault, agitating the cops can only make it worse. If the cop is trying to cover up the accident (calling in favors, like you said), agitating the cop by complaining MAY OR MAY NOT help his case but it seems unlikely that a random complaint over a case where guilt hasn't been assigned yet would have much affect on the ultimate outcome.

I understand what you are saying and the idea of 'protecting yourself' but how does a complaint do that in any way? The poster said that there were 2 police reports that he seemed to think were consistent with his version of events. That's a pretty good start. Sending in a complaint may make him look guilty, or have some unknown effect.

2) If the cops are going to lie in court or otherwise use their credibility against the driver, that is a real risk. Of course, those things happen, but how does making noise right now prevent that?
The fewer our wants, the nearer we resemble the gods. — Socrates
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Bandit390
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Post by Bandit390 »

Bounca wrote:
Bandit390 wrote:Update:

Cops insurance company denied liability. Then told me to pass their number/claim number to my insurance company. They called me earlier today and said they just got the report and wanted my side to start working on it, then about 3-4 hours later called to deny liability. So I guess the cops do have insurance, but then again the insurance rep said she represents the "town of X".

My insurance company has still not determined whos fault it is.

The state trooper at the scene told me he has not decided who is at fault and I could get a report in a couple of days. Still no update on that, but I don't plan on wasting gas, time and $7.50 to find out, when my insurance will hopefully let me know.

On a side note, my local insurance agent is no help out all. I called about what this could do to my premium and was referred to the 1-800 number and overall seemed she did not want to deal with me. But then four different people at the 1-800 number has told me I would need to call my local rep about my premium.

Do you have to have a local agent for state farm? If not, is it cheaper to deal with state farm directly? Also, do state farm agents try to "battle" for customers against other state farm agents?
I’m still so curious if you think it is your fault, which was my original question early on. There is more to this topic/debate/discussion depending on your answer.
No I don't. But I don't have time and money or help from family/etc to really do anything like get a lawyer. I don't really want to go that route, anyways. Besides, would it come out less than spending $500(a deductible), maybe a premium rise(never had any tickets and just one wreck in the past 7 years of me starting to drive) and create trouble with local cops in the very small town I live in? I doubt it.

On a positive note. My insurance company is not done with their investigation, but have already said they don't think I'm fully at fault. In my state, I could be found anywhere from 0% to 100% at fault. Also, I got a check for about $5,000 for my totaled truck that I paid $4800 for almost three years ago.
Last edited by Bandit390 on Thu Jul 02, 2009 11:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
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DaveH
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Post by DaveH »

Still unclear whether you are at fault, which is really the matter at hand. You seem less concerned with whether you were at fault, and more concerned with your premium. Regardless, the finding regarding fault is what will (and should) resolve the matter.
The fewer our wants, the nearer we resemble the gods. — Socrates
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