We rely on law enforcement officers and emergency service personnel to help us at some of the worst moments in our lives. It is rare that police or firefighters cause an accident, but we expect their employers to make us whole if they do.
A Tennessee county is reviewing how it handles car accidents involving their employees after a sheriff’s deputy allegedly ran a red light and crashed his sport utility vehicle into a car. The man was not disciplined and soon received another vehicle from the sheriff’s office.
That vehicle was involved in another accident, which severely injured the deputy and ran out of control into a fire hydrant and a nearby car. A review turned up some strange issues around these incidents, such as an altered crash report and a settled lawsuit with the victim of the first crash that was not accompanied by an internal probe.
Before he cost the taxpayers more than $35,000 with these two crashes, the deputy was also involved in two other accidents while serving the sheriff’s office and was never disciplined. The local police department requires internal reviews as well as drug and alcohol testing for officers involved in collisions, but the sheriff’s office does not.
Victims of car accidents have the right to seek compensation as well as official explanations or admissions or responsibility in some cases. An experienced motor vehicle accident attorney can assist victims and their families with making their case and determining if settlement or court actions are the best way forward to the appropriate damages for injured people.