Legal Question in Personal Injury in Arizona

Police responsibility

I hope you answer my question, and I appreciate your time.

My girlfriend was pulled over for speeding on a four lane bridge (two lanes in each direction)with no shoulder. As the police officer was walking from his car to her car, a drunken driver ran into the cop car which hit my girlfriend's car knocking her unconsicious. She has sustained injury in the back and neck resulting in loss of wages, loss of job, medical bills and an unbelieveable amount of pain and suffering. Since we have a drunk driver case my lawyer does not want to go after the police officer or the department for pulling her over on the bridge, but I really want to name them in the suit because he did not move her to a safe place and he also tore up the ticket as she was being put in the ambulance. Shouldn't we name the office and the department in the suit, and why or why not?

Thanks,

-M

Asked on 9/16/02, 8:05 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Tom Stanley The Law Offices Of Tom Stanley, PLC
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Re: Police responsibility

Thanks for your question. I am assuming that you were not an injured party. That being the case, your girlfriend will need to file the claim through her attorney. If they decide to make a claim against the officer and the government body the officer works for, a Notice of Claim must be filed within 180 days of the injury causing event. That being said, consideration must be given to the actions of the officer and whether or not the actions were negligent. (i.e. would a reasonable police officer have stopped the car in that location?) This is a question that the attorney must fully evaluate in consultation with your girlfriend. Though you may not agree with their decision personally, I'm sure that they will consider all the options and proceed forward based upon a complete evaluation.

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9/17/02, 10:45 am

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