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City in San Diego County Settles Lawsuit of Woman Injured by Police Officer

Posted on : September 19, 2018
by : Mark Lauzon

A woman who was seriously injured in an auto accident with a police officer has now received a $200,000 settlement of her claims after filing a lawsuit against the city and the police officer who caused her original injuries. Learn more about the settlement below, and contact a knowledgeable San Diego personal injury attorney if you have been injured in an automobile accident caused by a negligent or distracted driver.
Distracted Chula Vista officer injures woman in crash
Lori Tremaine was passing through the intersection of E Street and Fourth Avenue at the time of her injury in May of 2015, traveling on Fourth Street. At the time, Chula Vista Police Officer Carlos Valdivia was driving east on E Street near the intersection, but was distracted by his Mobile Data Computer. He ran a red light and passed through the intersection, colliding with Tremaine’s vehicle. The woman suffered knee injuries in the crash. Several months later, these injuries caused her knees to lock up while walking up the bleachers at a football game, causing her to fall down and resulting in a serious hip injury. Tremaine needed surgery on her hip and knees after the fall. She filed a lawsuit against the City of Chula Vista, as well as Officer Valdivia, for the costs of her injuries, as well as her lost future earning capacity and legal fees. Tremaine and the City of Chula Vista reached a settlement of $200,000 in January of 2018, according to newly-public settlement documents. The settlement states, “Valdivia was looking at his Mobile Data Computer instead of the road, his surroundings, or the traffic signal. As a result, he drove through the intersection against the red light, causing a collision.”
Filing a claim against a government official or office
Police officers are regularly obligated to use inherently dangerous driving maneuvers to reach the scene of a crime or other emergency. While officers are permitted to drive in ways that average citizens are not, this doesn’t mean that they have license to drive carelessly, ignoring the safety of others on the road. When a police officer drives dangerously in a way that recklessly exposes those nearby to a risk of injury, the officer and city may be liable for any injuries caused by a resulting accident. That said, succeeding in a negligence claim against a police officer or government agency requires extensive knowledge and experience with government liability claims. It is important to find a California personal injury attorney who understands the complex filing deadlines and pleading requirements of government liability claims to represent you when a local government official should be held liable for your injuries.
If you’ve been injured in a serious Southern California motor vehicle accident, contact the experienced, professional, and detail-oriented San Diego car accident lawyers at the Banker’s Hill Law Firm at 619-230-0330.