CORONAVIRUS UPDATE: What We Are Doing to Protect Our Clients

Pedestrian Struck and Injured by Berkeley Police Officer

Patrol Car Hits Woman in Crosswalk

On the afternoon of Wednesday, July 14, 2021, a collision between a Berkeley police patrol vehicle and a pedestrian took place at the intersection of Allston Way and Sacramento Street.  The California Highway Patrol (CHP) is investigating the incident. The pedestrian who was struck was taken to the hospital and released the following morning. 

Reported Details of the Incident

The collision took place at approximately 4:25 p.m. According to CHP reports, the Berkeley Police officer had stopped his vehicle at a red traffic light at Allston Way. The light turned green, and the officer executed a left-hand turn onto Sacramento Street. A woman was crossing the street inside a crosswalk, and according to CHP reports, the patrol vehicle struck her at approximately 10 miles per hour. The woman who was hit believes the vehicle was traveling at a higher speed. 

Surgery May Be a Possibility

The pedestrian, a 57-year old Berkeley resident and school district employee, was transported to the hospital. She had been on her way to the post office when the collision took place. Neither drugs nor alcohol is suspected to have been a factor in the incident. She may require surgery for the injuries she sustained, which are reported to include a fractured knee and swollen right foot.

What Happens if a Pedestrian is Hit by a Police Car?

In this incident, the police officer involved was on duty, but not on an emergency call. Any potential legal claim that arises from the incident will be handled as a civil matter. If the pedestrian makes an injury claim, it will be filed against the agency that employed the officer. If negligence is established, the employer will likely be found legally and financially responsible for the injured woman’s damages. 

Liability in Pedestrian Accidents

Just like any other motorist, a police officer is not immune to making a mistake. Vehicle drivers owe a greater duty of care to pedestrians, and always need to be on the lookout. Given the reported facts of this incident, it sounds like a clear case of liability on the part of the Berkeley police officer. He was executing a left turn, and the pedestrian was walking inside of a crosswalk. In any sort of civil matter that arises from this incident, likely the only point of contention will be the dollar amount awarded for the pedestrian’s damages.

Public Entity – Shorter Time in Which to Act

Because the negligent party, in this case, is an employee of a public agency, the time in which the injured person must act is only a matter of months.  When a person files a personal injury claim against a private individual or entity, the statute of limitations in California is two years.  That means the claim must be settled or a lawsuit filed before the two-year anniversary of the subject incident. In the case of a public or governmental entity, however, there is a much shorter claims statute. The public agency must receive formal notice of the claim within six months of the subject incident.

Watch the YouTube video. Berkeley police are interested in pedestrian safety – see the clip below.

Berkeley Personal Injury Lawyer

Hello, and thanks for reading. I’m Ed Smith, a Berkeley, California personal injury attorney. Berkeley is a pedestrian-friendly city, but accidents still happen. If you have been injured due to the careless actions of a motorist, our compassionate injury lawyers can help protect your rights and maximize the value of your claim. Don’t hesitate to give us a call at (510) 631-0200 or toll-free at (800) 404-5400. We will be happy to set up a no-obligation consultation or simply provide free and friendly advice

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Photo: https://pixabay.com/photos/zebra-path-traffic-street-safety-3698566/

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