Suing a Sheriff's Department.

Latest post 03-01-2010 8:14 PM by Sharon - Community Moderator (Admin). 58 replies.
  • 02-22-2010 1:28 PM

    • JASONP53
      Consumer
    • Not Ranked
    • Joined on 02-22-2010
    • CA
    • Posts 12

    Suing a Sheriff's Department.

    • Locked

    Hello,  I am going to make this post short, and the subsequent postings a lot longer.  Basically, I was jogging this summer, on the shoulder of the road, and some 20 year old kid hit me going 50miles per hour.  I spent a month in the hospital, andI am now permanently disabled, cant even move or lfeel my left arm. 

    The Sheriff's department did not check this kid for drugs, alcohol, nor a cell phone.  They did not charge him with anything at all.  They stated the accident is my fault for running on the shoulder of the road.  They discarded my statement and only took this 20 year old's statement as fact, even though there are clear contradictions.

    This kid, hit a mailbox on the grass next to the road before he hit me.  The accident was at 0900.  This 20 year old has previous convictions for drugs and alcohol. 

    I am not from Niagara County.  I was visiting my parents this summer, on break from Medical school.  I am also an 8-year US Air Force Veteran.  But this county is so small and follows the 'good-ole boy' system that the investigation eas botched and swept under the carpet since I am not 'one of them.'

    I live in Middleport, Niagara County, NY, and am interested in legal action against the Sheriff's Department.  Please help.  Thank you.

     

    Jason

  • 02-22-2010 1:30 PM In reply to

    • JASONP53
      Consumer
    • Not Ranked
    • Joined on 02-22-2010
    • CA
    • Posts 12

    Long Version

    • Locked

    Hello,
    My name is Jason T. P. This past summer on 06 August
    2009, I was jogging on the shoulder of my parents road, South Main Street,
    in [city name removed], Niagara County, NY. At 08:50AM, I was hit by a car that
    drifted off onto the shoulder of the road, even hitting a mailbox before he hit
    me. Neighbors heard the sound of the mailbox being hit, and of the car
    hitting me, and rushed out to see the commotion and call 911.
    My damages were extensive, and I had to be Mercy-Flighted to Erie County
    Medical Center, where I spent a week in a medically induced coma, 2 weeks
    in intensive care, and a whole month total inpatient due to surgeries and
    physical therapies. Now I am disabled, with many surgeries pending yet,
    and no guarantees at all. I have not and cannot move or feel my left arm,
    which has greatly atrophied as a result. My skull cracked, and I had several
    hematomas, and my left eye sank in and I have double vision.
    The car hit me at first with the impact at the point where my knee bends,
    behind the knee, I now have what is called a 'drop foot', and I cant flex my
    foot upward, or even feel it, which makes me limp and my foot slap across
    the ground when I walk. I also have had other medical issues due to this
    accident.
    The Niagara County Sheriffs Department responded to this accident, and
    they did not check the person who hit me, [name removed], 20, for drugs nor
    alcohol. He was not searched for a cell phone to rule out that he was text
    messaging while driving either. They did not even charge this individual
    with anything whatsoever. Because I was unconscious and bleeding
    massively, I could not give a statement at the scene of the crime. But
    [name removed] told Sheriffs that I ran in front of his car. The incident report, which
    follows [name removed] false statement, does not make sense considering the
    direction I was running versus the direction his car was travelling. The
    damage to the car and my injuries' locations on my body conflict with the
    report and [name removed] statement. The report states that we were heading in
    opposite directions, and [name removed] states that I ran in front of his car,
    attempting to cross the street (which I wouldn't have done anyway since I
    was jogging home, already on the same side of the road as my parent's
    house.) This is inaccurate seeing as my injuries are directly to the back of
    my knee, and back of my shoulder, because as his car drifted onto the
    shoulder of the road, he clipped me from behind. And the photos online at
    (http://www.1strespond...
    677298b7-5980-4e21-b1f...
    ) clearly show that what hit me from behind was the car's bumper to the leg
    tearing my skin and muscle, windshield which hit my skull, and as I was
    thrust from the moving car, my left shoulder was clipped by and tore off his
    right side mirror, leaving the shards of glass in the back of my arm and
    tearing off a considerable amount of skin, requiring the skin graft. This
    trauma caused my neurology problems I have now, leaving me unable to
    use my left arm. Had I been hit from any other angle, the injuries would be
    to my front/side, not rear. Plus, he hit a mailbox, which isn't even on the
    shoulder of the road, but on the grass, before he hit me. There is a witness
    that can confirm this, a woman who lives on the street as well.
    I am an 8 year veteran of the US Air Force, who spent 6 years of my career
    in the military overseas, including the middle-east on deployments. I got
    out of the military, and decided to goto medical school overseas in Europe. I
    came home this summer to take the board licensure exam to practice
    medicine in the United States, and to visit my parents. That goal was cut
    short because of the accident. I have since missed my 3rd year of medical
    school, due to hospitalizations, surgeries, and intense physical therapy and
    other doctors appointments.
    I still cannot move or feel my left arm, and use a cane and ankle-device to
    walk, and wear an eye patch to minimize my blurry double vision,
    until my eye surgery which is March 4th. There are no guarantees from
    doctors that I will move or feel my left arm again, nor walk without a limp,
    much less ever run again. I was a person who loved medicine, loved helping
    people, loved serving my country, and loved exercise, and that, along with a
    lot more in my life, was stripped from me. I am currently looking into a
    transfer to UB's Medical school because I will likely need medical care for a
    long time, and since I am a Veteran, my only health insurance is through the
    Veterans Administration so I must live by a Veterans Hospital, which they do
    not have in Europe.
    I am writing to you because I feel that justice has not been served. The
    Niagara County Sheriff's Department has told me there is nothing that they
    can do to [named removed]-a person with a prior criminal record, along with his
    family members, who have a prior criminal record for drug and alcohol
    abuse and even hitting pedestrians with their car.
    A prior record! And the Sheriffs Department did not check [name removed] for drugs
    nor alcohol. So now at this point, I am disabled, while my aggressor does
    not get charged with anything, much less a slap on the wrist, due to a
    botched investigation from the Niagara County Sheriff's Department. It just
    bothers me that I spent 6 years in the military, living overseas in places
    from Guam to Germany to the Middle East, and attend medical school in
    Poland--and the place where I do get hurt and injured is right back home in
    Western New York. And to top that off, the Niagara County Sheriff's
    Department tells me there is nothing they can do to help me, while the
    person who hit and disabled me, changing my life forever, gets to walk free
    with no penalty whatsoever.
    I truly hope there is something you can do to help me out, and help obtain
    justice for me, whether it is contacting the Niagara County Sheriff's
    Department or investigating elsewhere. I’ve been all around in the world in
    my 8 years of military service, even Iraq, and the place I get injured at is
    right at home, and I find it hard to believe that someone can hit and injure,
    and leave a pedestrian permanently disabled, and face no consequence—at
    all. Please help me as I have had zero help thus far. Thank you.
    You can find articles on my accident at:
    http://www.1stresponde...
    77298b7-5980-4e21-b1fa...
    and
    http://www.buffalonews...
    http://www.niagara-gaz...
    and other sources as I am unsure who else had reported on it.
    http://www.lockportjou... This is
    the most recent article.


    Thank you very very much, I really do appreciate any help and justice.


    Very Respectfully,
    Jason T. P, US Air Force Veteran
    3rd year Medical Student

  • 02-22-2010 1:32 PM In reply to

    • JASONP53
      Consumer
    • Not Ranked
    • Joined on 02-22-2010
    • CA
    • Posts 12

    INCONSISTENCIES WITH SHERIFF’S REPORT AND STATEMENTS

    • Locked

    INCONSISTENCIES WITH SHERIFF’S REPORT AND STATEMENTS TO THE NEWS/MEDIA
    1) There was no sobriety test/ toxicology screen for [name removed] after the accident to
    rule out intoxication.
    2) His car was not searched for drugs or other contraband. The Sheriffs department
    stated they had no probable cause to check for drugs or alcohol—isn’t mutilating
    and disabling, almost murdering, a human being probable cause? Or how
    about [name removed] prior criminal record? Their whole family is known for—and
    has been convicted for drugs and alcohol related charges, including DWI, in the
    past. These are patterns of behavior.
    3) He was not searched for a cell phone to rule out that he was text messaging while
    driving.
    4) If this individual has a prior criminal record existing, these things should have
    certainly been checked.
    5) The incident report, which follows  [name removed] false statement, does not make sense
    considering the direction I was running versus the direction his car was travelling.
    The damage to the car and my injuries’ locations on my body conflict with the report
    and [name removed] statement. The report states that we were heading in opposite
    directions, and [name removed] states that I ran in front of his car, attempting to cross the
    street (which I wouldn’t have done anyway since I was jogging home, already on
    the same side of the road as my parent’s house.) This is inaccurate seeing as my
    injuries are directly to the back of my knee, and back of my shoulder, because as
    his car drifted onto the shoulder of the road, he clipped me from behind. And the
    photos online at
    (http://www.1strespond...
    b7-5980-4e21-b1fa-c142... clearly show that what hit me from behind was
    the car’s bumper to the leg tearing my skin and muscle, windshield which hit my
    skull, and as I was thrust from the moving car, my left shoulder was clipped by and
    tore off his right side mirror, leaving the shards of glass in the back of my arm and
    tearing off a considerable amount of skin, requiring the skin graft. This trauma
    caused my neurology problems I have now, leaving me unable to use my left arm.
    Had I been hit from any other angle, the injuries would be to my front/side, not
    rear.
    6) [name removed] was not charged with anything. Not loss of control of his motor vehicle,
    striking a pedestrian, or anything of that nature. What if I died from this, instead of
    being permanently disabled, would it be the same outcome? I don’t think Niagara
    county can find it acceptable to permanently disable someone but not vehicular
    homicide.
    7) The Sheriff’s Department has the nerve to say I am at fault? If someone is rearended
    while driving, are they at fault? No. Before I was hit, a mail box was hit,
    which was on the grass? Is it the mailbox’s fault that he drove onto the grass and
    hit the mailbox?
    8) They have stated it is against the law to run facing traffic? In the military, we
    always ran with traffic so that the vehicles behind you, could see you from afar.
    Exactly what law states you must run with traffic? Better yet, what law states you
    cannot run with an iPod? Does this mean that deaf people cannot run as well, since
    they would be breaking the law? I’ve looked and there are no such laws for neither
    false claim.
    9) [name removed] statement has been taken as fact and was included into the Sheriff’s
    Report. I couldn’t give my statement at the time that [name removed] did, because I was
    unconscious from the bleeding and shock. But the statement that I eventually did
    give after my hospital release, is still not included into the Report. That is very very
    impartial, to take his statement as fact despite him nearly killing me, and sweeping
    my statement under the rug so that it doesn’t seem like their investigation was
    botched. They also did not include the witness’, Collette’s, statement, which
    concurs with my facts. The Sheriff’s Department is purposefully being impartial and
    favoring [name removed] despite the overwhelming evidence.
    10) What Country is this that I defended for 8 years, where overseas I get shot
    at and risk my life, yet come home to New York, get injured, and they allow the
    person who hit me with his own vehicle not get charged with any sort of violation.
    No loss of control of a vehicle, no striking a pedestrian, etc. If I had died would he
    have gotten away with my murder as well? We cannot say that it is okay to injure
    and disable somebody, yet not okay to murder them. Both acts are heinous and
    should carry similar consequences.

  • 02-22-2010 1:36 PM In reply to

    Re: Suing a Sheriff's Department.

    • Locked

    You should be suing the kid who hit you, not the sheriff

  • 02-22-2010 1:36 PM In reply to

    Re: Suing a Sheriff's Department.

    • Locked

    JASONP53:
    I live in Middleport, Niagara County, NY, and am interested in legal action against the Sheriff's Department. Please help. Thank you.

    Sorry, but there is no legal action you can take against the sheriff.

    His investigation (or lack of one) has nothing to do with whether or not you had a case against the driver for personal injury.

    And the driver's priors had nothing to do with it either.

    Here's how it works.

    You were injured by a negligent driver.

    You file a claim against him.

    Either his insurance company settles with you or you file suit and a judge or jury decides.

    You still have plenty of time to file a claim against the driver or sue if you don't get any results.

    As for this thing about the sheriff, fageddaboudit (as they say in NY). You are just dreaming if you think anything is going to come of that.

    • The right of the people 
    • to keep and bear arms,
    • shall not be infringed.
  • 02-22-2010 1:37 PM In reply to

    Re: INCONSISTENCIES WITH SHERIFF’S REPORT AND STATEMENTS

    • Locked

    You should contact a personal injury lawyer who can subpoena much of what you asked for-previous criminal and cell phone records, etc.

    He will also advise you how hard it is to sue a government agency.

    The good news is that these type of lawyers don't usually charge for a consultation while they determine of you have a case; they work on contingency.

  • 02-22-2010 1:37 PM In reply to

    Please comply with conditions

    • Locked

    You are not to name anyone on this board - and it could open you up to slander charges.

    Your prior military service, while commendable, is irrelevant.

    You almost certainly will get no where going after law enforcement.

  • 02-22-2010 1:52 PM In reply to

    • JASONP53
      Consumer
    • Not Ranked
    • Joined on 02-22-2010
    • CA
    • Posts 12

    Re: Suing a Sheriff's Department.

    • Locked

    Its not about the money.  Its the principal.  I dont see how this kid can permanently disable me and not be charged at all.  He has a family member who works for the County so this has all been swept under.

     

  • 02-22-2010 2:00 PM In reply to

    • DPH
      Consumer
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on 10-08-2001
    • TX
    • Posts 7,173

    Re: Suing a Sheriff's Department.

    • Locked

    JASONP53:
    Its not about the money. Its the principal.

    Of course. 

    Bottom line...sue the kid, forget the sheriff.  If you want to go after the sheriff, contact the media and see what happens.  You're not going to get anything from the sheriff.

     

    "Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience."  -  Mark Twain

     

  • 02-22-2010 2:08 PM In reply to

    • JASONP53
      Consumer
    • Not Ranked
    • Joined on 02-22-2010
    • CA
    • Posts 12

    Re: Suing a Sheriff's Department.

    • Locked

    Can you imagine what [lack of] justice there is in suing a 20 year old?  His insurance policy max in a drop in the bucket and that amount was even exhausted after my first week in the hospital.  So I have to pick up the ungodly amount of medical bills not even my fault, not to mention not receive any sort of compensation.

    I  am more interested in the sheriff's department doing their duty to charge those responsible with a crime, before the statue of limitations pass.  If I hit someone with a car, you can imagine I would have the book thrown at me.

    But because someone with family and connections does this, he gets a get out of jail free card.

  • 02-22-2010 2:14 PM In reply to

    Re: Suing a Sheriff's Department.

    • Locked

    JASONP53:
    Can you imagine what [lack of] justice there is in suing a 20 year old?

     

    A judgement like this could follow him the rest of his life, as long as you keep renewing the judgment past any statute of limitations. 

    But government agencies are protected from legal charges such as this one; it's a long process where you need to get approval from the govt to sue...you can imagine that rarely happens.

    But consult with an attorney, who may be able to make you understand you have no case against them.

  • 02-22-2010 2:56 PM In reply to

    Re: Suing a Sheriff's Department.

    • Locked

    The short version of the law:

    1. The police/sherriff and prosecutor do not owe an individual duty to you to enforce the law or charge people who hurt you. They function for the benefit of society as a whole and have very wide discretion with regards to how they carry out their functions. Because they owe you no individual duty here, you have no basis for suing them when they don't do their jobs well. Instead, you hold them accountable in the political arena, not in the courts.

    2. Police reports are NOT evidence and are not admissible in court for most purposes. As a result, they are not terribly important for anything. About the only thing it does is help explain why the police did what they did.

    3. The police need probable cause to conduct a search (absent consent), whether by warrant or under some exception to the warrant requirement. Probable cause means that the police have some reason to believe that evidence of a crime will be found. The driver's past legal problems and past drug/alcohol problems do not provide probable cause. The cops need something regarding the present incident to provide the probable cause. His past tells you nothing about whether on the day he hit you he was under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The cops cannot just go on a fishing expedition. Thus, they cannot search his phone looking for text messages without something to give them probable cause to believe that he was, in fact, texting while driving (assuming that texting while driving would be a crime, and it may not be). They cannot force a drug or alcohol test without some evidence to suggest that he was driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Again, they needed something there at the time of the accident to provide the probable cause; his past was not relevant.

    4. The police may well have believed the kid's statement rather than just covering up for him. That you think the evidence available shows the kid was lying doesn't mean the cops see it the same way. They were not there at the time of the accident, didn't see it, and have to go by what they have. And it may well be that, despite your views of it, the evidence at hand could support several different views of how the accident might have happened. In any event, the cops and prosecutors don't have to see the evidence the way you do, and they are entitled to decide whose statements are more believeable to them.

    5. Your legal recourse is to the sue the kid. He's the one who injured you. He's the one from whom you may get any damages. The police didn't injure you, and having the kid arrested and charged does not benefit you in any significant way other than the satisfaction of seeing him punished. The lack of prosecution is not causing you any damages, so even if there had been a claim against the cops for not going after the kid, you'd still have nothing to sue for because you must have damages to maintain the civil suit.

    I understand your frustration, but the reality is that suing the cops almost certainly isn't going to be one of your options here. See a NY civil litigator about what you can do. But don't be surprised to hear that your only recourse is to sue the kid. And that may be worthwhile, even if he doesn't have much now, because judgments can last a very long time and you can collect if he does, in fact, ever come into some money.

  • 02-22-2010 3:07 PM In reply to

    Re: Suing a Sheriff's Department.

    • Locked

    JASONP53:
    His insurance policy max in a drop in the bucket and that amount was even exhausted after my first week in the hospital. So I have to pick up the ungodly amount of medical bills not even my fault, not to mention not receive any sort of compensation.

    If you have your own car insurance your Underinsured Motorist Coverage might apply to the accident since you got hit by a car even though you were not in a car when you got hit.

    Check your policy and see if your limits are high enough. Then file the claim with your own insurance company.

    • The right of the people 
    • to keep and bear arms,
    • shall not be infringed.
  • 02-22-2010 3:15 PM In reply to

    • Cica
      Consumer
    • Top 25 Contributor
    • Joined on 09-23-2003
    • Posts 6,519

    Re: Suing a Sheriff's Department.

    • Locked

    JASONP53:
    Its not about the money. Its the principal.

    JASONP53:
    Can you imagine what [lack of] justice there is in suing a 20 year old?  His insurance policy max in a drop in the bucket and that amount was even exhausted after my first week in the hospital.  So I have to pick up the ungodly amount of medical bills not even my fault, not to mention not receive any sort of compensation.

    Well, which is it?  Money or principle?

    Attorneys represent for money.  Principle doesn't pay their costs of living.  Nor is the system going to let them override the cost of every action necessary to represent a plaintiff and file suit.  The defendant would not be the Sheriff's Dept.

    At least discuss it with an attorney.  (P.S.--I cannot begin to imagine what you've gone through, and I do wish you a good recovery.)

     

  • 02-22-2010 3:52 PM In reply to

    • JASONP53
      Consumer
    • Not Ranked
    • Joined on 02-22-2010
    • CA
    • Posts 12

    Re: Please comply with conditions

    • Locked

    My service is very relevant.  I do 2 tours to Iraq among other places in my 8 years, risking my neck to protect our laws and give other countries a chance to have those same freedoms, come back safely, only to come back here to my homeland, where I do end up getting injured, and there is no one to properly uphold even a simple traffic law, muchless protect my individual rights.

Page 1 of 4 (59 items) 1 2 3 4 Next > | RSS

My Community

Community Membership New Users: Search Community