Sacramento, CA asked in Criminal Law, Car Accidents and Civil Rights for California

Q: Can I sue the CHP?

My son was the fatality in a tragic accident. On his Motorcycle one block from home a driver making a left turn did not see him. He was hit run over and became pinned under the vehicle. Their report says my son was speeding 50mph and rear ended the vehicle. Witnesses, 911 callers, neighbors, fire department dispatchers all report he was the victim, they are the only ones who report the motorcyclist at fault and it couldnt be more blatant case of Profiling. But that's not against the law. So for more than two years I have been asking them to fix this because they did break the law ... They moved the body before coroner was contacted, unpinning an obvious dead man, so the driver could get in her car and drive away. They cleared the entire accident scene in 17 minutes, cancelled the ambulance in route, dismissed first responders, and so much more. The 3 versions of the 911 calls revealed this horror show, and then I was sent pictures of them doing it can they be held accountable for that?

3 Lawyer Answers
Joel Gary Selik
Joel Gary Selik
Answered
  • Personal Injury Lawyer
  • Las Vegas, NV
  • Licensed in California

A: What a horrible tragedy. I am so sorry for your loss.

Any case against the CHP would be very difficult for many reasons. First, there is a six month claim submission deadline (though, if there are federal questions, the time limit may be longer). Further, the actions of CHP were likely to be held immune from suit. Finally, it does not sound like the police caused the death so the damages may be limited in any lawsuit.

Your best route, if the claim is still within the time limits, would be a case against the adverse driver even if the police said it was not that driver's fault. Also a claim against any uninsured/under insured motorist coverage that may be applicable.

Consult with experienced attorneys right away.

1 user found this answer helpful

James L. Arrasmith
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Answered
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: I'm deeply sorry for your loss. You might have grounds to sue the California Highway Patrol (CHP) if you believe they mishandled the accident investigation or violated procedures. The actions you described, such as moving your son's body before the coroner arrived and clearing the scene rapidly, could be considered misconduct or negligence.

You can consider filing a lawsuit for wrongful death, negligence, or violation of civil rights. It’s important to gather all available evidence, including witness statements, 911 call recordings, and photos. This documentation can support your case and demonstrate the mishandling and potential profiling you mentioned.

Consulting with an attorney experienced in wrongful death or police misconduct cases will be crucial. They can help you understand your legal options and the best course of action to hold the CHP accountable for their actions.

1 user found this answer helpful

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II
Answered
  • Consumer Law Lawyer
  • Newport Beach, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: My condolences for your loss, an awful tragedy. Many vehicles offer little regard to the 2 wheeled conveyances and the operators of the 2 wheeled conveyances receive the most serious injuries. But you are not bound by what the CHP wrote in the accident report as the person at fault. CHP did not witness the accident and accident reports are not evidence. You can still bring claims against the driver/owner of the responsible vehicle. Thanks for using Justia Ask a Lawyer, you really need to consult with a local attorney and have him review all your documentation. Don't rely on what you have been told here, we don't have all the facts. You should consult with a personal injury attorney to determine if the CHP is responsible for any compensable injury or damage to you and to go after the driver/owner.

1 user found this answer helpful

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