An investigation by local news station KHOU found that over the past 3 years there have been over 500 accidents involving Harris County Sheriff’s deputies where the deputy was at fault. The investigation found that in the vast majority of these cases the deputy at fault faced no or very minimal punishment. We don’t expect that law enforcement officers, who are supposed to be the guardians of safety on the roads, would themselves be responsible for so many accidents.
So what happens if you are involved in a wreck caused by a law enforcement officer? Many people believe that a victim has no legal recourse against the law enforcement officer or department because of the idea of government immunity. That however is not true. The state of Texas has a set of laws referred to as the Texas Tort Claims Act which allows a person to hold a government entity liable for damage or harm caused by that entity due to a wrongful act or negligence. So, although there may be an issue with the sheriff’s office holding its deputies accountable as is evidenced by KHOU’s investigation, state law does not shield these deputies or the sheriff’s department from liability if a lawsuit is brought by a victim of a deputy caused accident.
Although having an experienced attorney on your side is important when attempting to get justice after any accident, it is even more important in cases involving government entities like a law enforcement department. Although the Texas Tort Claims Act permits one to hold a government entity liable it also adds another layer of legal complexity to what can already be a confusing process for the injured person.
If you have been injured in an accident with a law enforcement officer or any other person working for a government entity please call Ben Bronston and Associates. Our attorneys have years of experience helping those who have been injured by the negligence of others to receive the justice they deserve. We will work tirelessly to represent your rights to the fullest in an attempt to get you the best recovery possible.