The family of a driver who died after being struck by a police car two years ago will receive a $1.35 million payout from the City of Fresno. The California family filed the wrongful death suit in 2012 after the 28-year-old man died during a collision with a police cruiser.
Authorities report the man died when he turned his vehicle into the path of an oncoming police car on Oct. 3, 2011. The early-morning accident occurred on Brawley Avenue in Fresno, as the police officer was traveling quickly to respond to an alleged armed robbery. The officer said he thought he had the right-of-way when the crash occurred. Even though the Fresno Police Department stood behind its officer, saying the man had been cleared of negligence, additional information showed that the driver did not take adequate precautions.
First, the officer in the case did not have his emergency lights or sirens activated at the time of the accident. In addition, the driver was traveling at a relatively high rate of speed to a non-emergency call. It turned out that there was no gun at the scene of the alleged crime. Since the officer was traveling so quickly, he was unable to react in time when the driver pulled in front of him.
Even though the driver was not subject to any criminal action, the officer was found civilly liable for his poor driving in this case. Victims who have been injured during accidents or altercations with police officers deserve financial compensation for their inconvenience. In addition, wrongful death and personal injury cases can net money for medical bills, pain and suffering, emotional distress and a variety of other claims. California victims who have been injured or are related to someone who died in an accident caused by police could benefit from the advice of a qualified legal professional.