Passenger Injured in Crash with Police Sues City for Damages
Antona Esaw is suing the city of Nashville for damages after she sustained severe injuries in a car accident with a city police officer last summer. According to the lawsuit, Esaw was a passenger in a car on July 4, 2019, when the driver sped through a blinking red traffic light around 3:05 a.m. At the same time, Nashville Metropolitan Police Officer John Anderson was speeding through the intersection and the cars collided. The impact caused the officer’s driver side door to open and he was hanging from the vehicle as it spun out. He struck a utility pole and flew from the car before being declared dead at the scene. The driver of Esaw’s vehicle was charged criminally for the officer’s death, and Esaw did not face charges.
Investigators determined that the officer was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the accident and was speeding at 71 piles per hour when the crash occurred. According to police protocol, officers are allowed to go ten miles per hour over the posted speed limit, which would have allowed the officer to go 45 miles per hour at the intersection where the accident occurred.
Esaw suffered catastrophic injuries from the accident, including bleeding on the brain, blood clots, severe lacerations, and significant damage to both legs. The total amount of medical bills so far for her care exceeds $80,000 and Esaw’s mother lost her job after the crash, leaving them without medical insurance to cover the costs. She is suing the city for damages relating to her health care costs, pain and suffering, loss of earning capacity, and loss of enjoyment of life.
Car Accidents Involving Government Entities
Car accidents and other personal injury claims that involve government entities and employees operate under a different set of laws in Tennessee. Any claim against the government for damages falls under the Tennessee Governmental Tort Liability Act, and victims of a government entity-related accident have one year from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit. Most of these cases are heard as a bench trial, where the judge renders a verdict, instead of as a jury trial of peers.
There are also compensation restrictions to governmental entity personal injury claims. Under the law, the amount of compensation for personal injury a victim can collect is capped at $300,000. Per accident recovery limits are capped at $700,000 for city and county entities, and they are capped at $1,000,000 for accidents caused by state employees. In addition, punitive damages are not applicable for any willful or wanton conduct unless covered by that entity’s insurance policy.
Talk to Our Office Now
If you would like to learn more about your legal options after being injured by a city, county, or state employee, the Nashville personal injury attorneys at the office of Mitch Grissim & Associates are here to help. Call the office or contact us today to schedule a free consultation of your case.