Car Accidents

A police officer hit my car, what happens & what should I do?

A police car accident can happen when a police officer hit a car or someone hit a cop's car.

In either case, people want to know who to file a claim or lawsuit against, what to do at the scene, etc.

So in this article, we will answer them and leave a number you can call to speak to a car accident law office for a no-obligation FREE consultation to see if you qualify for a hit by police car compensation for

  • lost of wages
  • pain & suffering
  • loss of consortium
  • property damages
  • etc.
Police car accident image show police car involved in a crash

Police officer car hit a car FAQ

Below, we answered the most common questions people have when law enforcement or cop hit their car.

What happens if a cop hits your car?

If a police officer hits a car many things could happen:

  • If the officer was driving carelessly and not obeying traffic law when your car was hit, that cop could be held responsible for property damages, injuries, death, etc, resulting from the crash.
  • Depending on the circumstances and severity of the car accident the police officers department will suspend or discipline them in other ways.
  • When a cop hit a car they are required to offer help. This again depends on the circumstance.
  • And no, you will likely not get arrested for just getting into an accident with a cop. Even when you are the one who collided with them it doesn't mean automatic arrest. Obviously, if you are a criminal and you were being chased, etc, that's different.
  • You could get a hit by police car compensation. So the civilian hit should contact a personal injury law firm to file a claim or lawsuit as it is their right to seek compensation, 855-227-8230.

Who can I sue (file claim against) for compensation in a police car collision?

You can file a claim against or sue many people for compensation in a car crash caused by a law enforcement car.

They are:

  • The officer
  • The cop department
  • The criminal they were chasing if it was a car chase
  • City, states, county
  • Other motorists, organizations, etc, that contributed to the collision

Speaking to an experienced law office specializing in motor vehicle collision will help you in determining who to go after for financial settlement claim or lawsuit.

Wanting to file a police car accident lawsuit is within your right and you should exercise it without hesitation.

When is a police officer at fault for a car accident?

Like in most car accidents, fault needs to be determined and a law enforcement vehicle crash is no exception.

What determines when a police officer is at fault or not for a vehicle accident depends on many circumstances.

Some of those are:

Was the officer driving during an emergency?

In an emergency situation, depending on the state, and departmental policies, the officer is not at fault at all.

This is why the best car accident lawyer is highly recommended when involved in this kind of crash as it is complicated.

These types of injury claims are complicated because law enforcement officers are rarely held reliable when performing their duty such as in an emergency or chasing a criminal.

For example, in California, the CA Vehicle Code sec. 17004 basically says that you can't hold a public employee liable for personal injury and property damages when they are responding to an emergency.

Cop was driving recklessly during emergency

Remember how I mentioned that it is hard to find cops at fault when performing their duty like chasing a criminal or responding to an emergency?

Well, if a police officer hit a car while doing those but was reckless, negligent, and not showing care, he or she can be found to be at fault or liable for the accident. So you can file a civil claim and lawsuit against them, the department, city, state, etc.

Is the cop off duty and driving their personal car?

If an auto crash with a police officer occurred when the officer is off duty and driving as a civilian in their personal car, the accident is treated like a "normal" car accident where you have to go through their insurance company to file a claim or lawsuit that the cop hits your car.


To file a personal injury or car accident claim against the police officer's department (government), you generally have between 6 to 10 months depending on the state to do so as that's the status of limitation compared to two years in a normal accident lawsuit case.

That's another reason you need to contact a law firm fast for help as time is ticking.

Cop crashed into me, what should I do?

Even though a police officer-caused car accident is different than other types of accidents, the thing that remains the same is the actions you should take at the scene and after.

Just like after any collision, do the following if hit by a police officer's car.

  • Get to a safe place first (get to a safe area away from the wreck asap if possible)
  • Look for any injury on you
  • You may be scared because the accident involves a police officer but do your best to stay cool
  • Check to see if the offer is okay
  • Call 911 immediately
  • Document the accident by taking pictures and videos with your phone
  • Get the police officer's information
  • Be careful of what you say to the cop who comes to document the scene of the accident
  • Get medical care even if your injuries are minor
  • Contact your insurance company to report the accident but don't admit or deny fault before talking to a lawyer
  • Call a car or personal injury law office for a free consultation which almost all offer. They will help you get a hit by police car compensation for damages, pain & suffering, and more

Call to see if you qualify for a hit by police car compensation

When a cop car hits a car it is different than other car accidents as I mentioned earlier.

It is a harder case to file a compensation claim or lawsuit for as you are going against the government not just an insurance company.

So this is one injury case you need help with from beginning to finish.

Call the Lawsuitbase number 855-227-8230 now to be connected with a car accident lawyer who offers risk-free consultation.

The call and case review is free and you can ask questions and know your legal options based on your case uniqueness and see if you qualify for a hit by police car compensation.

An accident claim can help you recover a lot of damages.


Hiring an accident law office that handles police officer hit a car claims, you don't have to worry about paying upfront as the lawyers are paid only if they recover a financial settlement.

Emmanuel Okeke

Emmanuel is a legal editor and contributor with over 10 years of experience working in the legal field.

He brings the experience that he gained from working with injury law firms on how to gain and better serve their clients and his personal experience as a victim of a car accident.

"I hope that my articles will help you get the information you are looking for."

Have QUESTIONS? Call 855-227-8230 for a lawyer FREE case review!Questions? Tap for lawyer FREE consult.