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Client's typically consult with an experienced Chicago injury attorney after being injured by the negligent driving of a policeman. They most often assume that that the officer and the entity that employees him or her are responsible for their injuries. Unfortunately, the answer to their question is not that simple. Liability is dependent upon what the police officer was allegedly doing at the time of the crash.

Illinois statutory law provides that a police officer is not liable for his or her negligent conduct "while engaged in the enforcement of any law". What is meant by the expression "the enforcement of any law" requires additional analysis. Courts have consistently held that immunity from suit will be granted in situations where an officer receives a radio communication to respond to a crime in progress but not a non-emergency inquiry such as routine patrol or a cat stuck in a tree. Turning on a police flashing blue light or use of a siren because the policeman does not care to wait for the red light to turn green also does not provide immunity from suit.

The statute also provides that even if the officer was enforcing the law at the time of the crash liability will be found where the officer's actions amount to willful and wanton conduct. The usual scenario for the application of this high standard of proof is a high speed chase in a residential neighborhood where children are playing. Jeopardizing the lives of innocent people versus chasing a car thief is willful and wanton conduct.

In my experience as a Chicago injury attorney, police officers often strain to spin the factual circumstances of the crash in the hope of convincing the court or jury that they were in the process of enforcing the law. It is the responsibility of the injured victim's attorney to take immediate steps to secure and protect police audio and video recordings taken both before and after the crash. Police agencies routinely destroy the recordings sometimes as early as 14 days after the crash. It is imperative that victims of police negligence promptly retain an experienced personal injury attorney after the crash.

If you are involved in a serious personal injury accident with a police officer you must promptly consult with an experienced personal injury attorney to protect their rights.

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http://www.rickgrossman.com 866-942-8024 The attorneys at Steinberg, Burtker & Grossman practice exclusively in the area of personal injury litigation. For representation, contact the firm today in Chicago, Illinois.

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