An Oct. 23 accident investigation in North Seattle became the scene of a second crash that sent a police officer to the hospital with minor injuries. Police responded to a pedestrian accident on the 5900 block of Aurora Avenue North involving a man hit by a car as he tried to cross the highway at around 9:15 p.m. During the investigation of the pedestrian accident, a woman ran into a parked police car while attempting to drive through the scene.
Police say that the woman tried to navigate through squad cars and barricades at speeds of up to 25 miles per hour. After crashing into the rear bumper of a patrol car, the woman was arrested under suspicion of driving while intoxicated. Police arrested a passenger in the woman's car on other charges.
A police officer suffered minor injuries in the motor vehicle accident, but the struck pedestrian was hospitalized with severe injuries. Reports gave no details of the circumstances surrounding the pedestrian accident, but the strange chain of events may set the stage for a case of compound liability.
If the pedestrian suffered injuries due to a driver's negligence, he may have grounds to seek compensation from the driver for medical expenses and other damages arising from the crash. If the pedestrian's injuries worsened as a result of delays in treatment caused by the suspected drunk driver's collision with the police car, the pedestrian may also have a legitimate claim against the second driver.
In addition, the injured police officer will most likely have a good basis for filing a civil suit against the woman who struck his patrol car.
When multiple parties play different roles in causing an accident, each person at fault can be subject to a measure of legal responsibility for compensating injured victims. An experienced personal injury attorney can help sort out liabilities and ensure fair results for the injured.
Source: The Seattle Times, "Woman arrested for driving into accident scene," Jennifer Sullivan, Oct. 24, 2012