There are a number of different individuals and entities that may be responsible and subject to liability for car accidents that occur on the roadways. In particular, a recently filed lawsuit demonstrates that even Louisiana police can be defendants in a lawsuit in which a plaintiff seeks to recover damages for injuries resulting from a car collision. Three Louisiana prisoners filed the lawsuit. It is against the Orleans Parish sheriff’s office. The prisoners claim that they were injured in an accident while being transported by the police.
Specifically, the prisoners are three women who allege that they were injured as a result of the erratic driving of a deputy. The driver apparently hit another prisoner transport van and nearly crashed into several other vehicles. The females are seeking recovery and compensation for their physical injuries, residual disabilities and loss of earning potential, among other damages.
Under Louisiana law, negligence actions against the police are possible. However, different rules apply. Thus, becoming familiar with these rules — even before an accident occurs — is helpful to secure a recovery if injuries result.
Potential plaintiffs must be especially aware of the notice and immunity rules. The law requires that someone injured in accident that is allegedly the result of government action must file notice of the injury with the government within a specified amount of time after the injury. If the injured party fails to file notice, the government may be able to assert immunity as a defense to the lawsuit.
Immunity is a possible defense, and more importantly, a complete bar to a plaintiff’s recovery. Those, like the female prisoners, who properly file a notice of their injuries, however, may be able to recover for their injuries under negligence theories.
Source: louisianarecord.com, “Former prisoners sue Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office over prison transport bus accident,” Kyle Barnett, Dec. 4, 2013