Can You Get Compensated for Injuries Caused by an Accident With a Police Car?

Here is what you need to know about pursuing compensation after being hit by a police car in Missouri.

With so many government employees on the road, including first responders like police or paramedics, getting hit by a police car on a mission is not such a far-fetched scenario. 

missouri police car accident

What should you do if you get hit by a Missouri police car on a mission? If you suffer injuries or property damage, the usual procedures are to file a claim to an insurance company or file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver. However, going against a police officer might be intimidating for the average person.

Here is what you need to know about pursuing compensation after being hit by a police car in Missouri. 

Sovereign Immunity in Missouri

Police officers and other public employees have sovereign immunity in Missouri by law. This means that they generally cannot be sued by a civilian. There are exceptions to this rule. One instance is if someone suffers injuries due to a police officer’s negligent conduct when driving. 

It is also important to note that their sovereign immunity will generally not be waived if they are responding to an emergency. This means that the sirens and lights are on so that other motorists and pedestrians can notice them coming. 

If a police officer is not responding to an emergency and they cause a car accident due to negligence, you might be able to file a lawsuit.

Insurance Coverage Limit

Even when the police officer can be sued, there most likely is a modest insurance coverage limit for personal injuries. In Missouri, the state can purchase insurance to cover the exceptions to the sovereign immunity law, but the limits generally cannot exceed $2,000,000 for an occurrence and $300,000 per person. 

Also, if a regular personal injury suit can include punitive or exemplary damages, suing a police officer will generally not allow you to pursue these. Punitive damages are meant to punish the defendant for outrageous conduct and to serve as a discouragement for others. 

What to Do If You File a Suit Against a Police Officer

Because of the special circumstances, we highly recommend speaking with an experienced St. Louis car accident attorney if you have been involved in a car accident with a police officer.

These types of cases are more complex than regular car accidents. Our experienced legal team can evaluate your case for free and help you determine what your legal rights are.

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Updated: July 1, 2021