A Chicago, Illinois car crash has left three police officers and one civilian injured, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. The collision happened on Thursday night at the intersection of 65th and Cottage Grove. An unmarked police car struck a white Jaguar, and then the cars hit a building.
The Jaguar was Eastbound on 65th and the police vehicle was Southbound on Cottage Grove. The intersection was controlled by a stop light. The Chicago Police Department is stating that the officers had their siren on at the time of the accident on their way to an emergency call, but they did not say who had the green light.
Some witnesses at the scene are reporting that the Jaguar had a green light and that the police car did not have its siren on. There is also reportedly a traffic camera at the intersection and the police are going to be able to review the tape and determine what actually happened.
Two police officers and the Jaguar driver were taken to John Stroger Hospital, and the other officer was taken to Mount Sinai.
The reason it is at issue as to whether the car had a siren activated has to do with standards of care and the burden of proof in Court. If the lights are off, it is likely that ordinary negligence standards will apply. But, if the police officers had their siren activated and were in route to an emergency call, the Governmental Tort Immunity would apply and a claimant would have to show willful and wanton conduct by the officers to recover. Willful and wanton conduct is a much harder burden to prove. The fact that the officers ran a light would not guarantee recovery for the other party.
It will be interesting to see what the traffic cameras show. Also, if the lights or siren were off, it is a good bet that Chicago Area Personal Injury Lawyers will soon be involved in the case.