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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 119589 Find in a Library
Title: Police Conduct at Accident Scenes: Avoiding Liability for Negligent Service
Journal: Police Chief  Volume:56  Issue:9  Dated:(September 1989)  Pages:25-30
Author(s): V E Kappeler; R V del Carmen;
Date Published: 1989
Page Count: 6
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Issue Overview
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Police involved in traffic issues should be aware of how their duty to warn and protect, their duty to render assistance, and their duty to secure accident scenes affects their responsibilities before a traffic accident, at the scene of an accident, and following an accident.
Abstract: The duty of reasonable care that States and municipalities have in maintaining roadways is extended to police officers and law enforcement agencies where the officer or agency has actual or constructive knowledge of a potentially dangerous condition. A duty to warn can arise when a municipality or a police agency creates a danger to the public or has knowledge of a dangerous situation but does not take precautionary measures to prevent injury or damages. In the absence of a statutory of special duty, police officers are not liable for their failure to provide aid to endangered individuals. This special duty can arise from actions like beginning to rescue someone. Police officers may owe a special duty following their arrival at the scene of an accident if they had knowledge of the impending danger, if the danger was obvious, if a traffic hazard existed at the time, if the officer was in direct and immediate control, and if the officer had ample opportunity to correct the situation but failed to do so. Discussion of judicial decisions and 34 footnotes.
Main Term(s): Traffic accident management
Index Term(s): Legal liability; Negligence; Police responsibilities
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