People in San Diego may have heard about a terrible car accident earlier this month that claimed the life of a veteran Los Angeles police officer. It is always tragic when an officer of the law loses their life in the line of duty, but shockingly this has happened several times in the Los Angeles area recently. In the last two months, three LAPD officers have died in traffic fatalities.
In the case at hand, the deceased officer and his partner were following a suspect when the suspect’s SUV made a U-turn and slammed head-on into the police cruiser. The officer’s car was apparently so badly damaged that it destroyed their police radio, forcing the man’s partner to call for help from his own cell phone. The suspect fled the scene, but police have since detained someone in connection with the fatality.
In the other recent police fatalities, an officer’s squad car was hit by a dump truck, and in the other a motorcycle cop was struck and crushed by a driver believed to be under the influence of drugs at the time.
Police officers lay their lives on the line every day to protect the public but, when they become the victims, they should be entitled to the same protections and remedies available to car accident victims. When an officer is hurt or killed by a negligent driver or a downright criminal, they may leave behind a family that relied upon them for financial and family support. In some cases, officers may face serious injuries that cause permanent disability.
These officers and their families shouldn’t have to suffer alone and, in addition to insurance and disability for injuries in the line of duty, they may be able to collect damages from the negligent driver that injured them. These damages may include amounts for pain and suffering, lost wages and, in fatal accidents, wrongful death.
Source: ABC News “LAPD Officer Killed in Hit-and-Run Car Crash,” May 4, 2014