What can be done when a state trooper causes a car accident?
My girlfriend was rear ended by a state trooper on the highway. She was going 5mph (traffic was slowing down) and he was chasing another vehicle, but didn't switch lanes quick enough. Her car is now totalled. The insurance company said that since it was a state trooper, her insurance has to pay for it. What can she do? Can she sue?
She may NOT be able to sue. It depends on whether the State Troopers of that state are sovereignly immune. In West Virginia they are not, but in Arkansas they are. She should consult an attorney.
get an lawyer and sue. Regardless of his being involved in a pursuit, he is still responsible to operate his vehicle in a safe manner. If he is unable to do so, he should have terminated the pursuit and radioed for help. His actions were negligent as you described.
What state was this in? The states usually pay as long as the trooper was in the wrong. Now it's possible that your girlfriend was freaking out so much that she simply couldn't see a way to get out of the way while they as professionals could see that she could have gotten over and perhaps that is why they are saying it's her fault. If she was in the wrong in any way then no the state won't pay a dime whether he hit her from behind or not.
I rest assure that many many reports were done and probably pictures not to mention his dash cam would have been on at the time since he was in pursuit so if indeed it was his fault there will be proof and you wouldn't have any issues getting money. No state takes fleets (troopers accidents) lightly whether there is another car involved or not.
My suggestion is to call the local trooper Sargent and ask to speak to him about the accident. He I promise has reviewed the dash cam tape extensively and can tell her exactly why or why not they are responsible.
Oh and in most states you wouldn't be able to sue the trooper as an individual, you'd have to go after the department.
Damn straight she can sue, and I would suggest she get a lawyer yesterday and do just that. High speed chases (though this does not sound like one) are the big issue facing police today - they NEED to be held accountable, however from what I can understand, IF the officer was pursuing a suspect and this happened, the suspect MAY be responsible for the accident himself (or herself as the case may be) and THEY are responsible and not the officer.
I hope this helps a tad :>.
You would be in the wrong if you were able to get out of the way. If not then the state is responsable and the trooper can be sued. The trooper would have to prove you were at falt. But you can bet on one thing it will be a long fight and many courts. A trooper must be more alert when his emergency system is on because he knows people are trying to clear the way and that causes conjestion.