Law enforcement officials serve a critical role in keeping New Orleans' neighborhoods safe. From patrolling and investigating reports of crime to ensuring that the roads are safe for drivers and their passengers, police officers wear many hats within the community. It is always tragic when an officer is injured or killed in the line of duty, and just recently one of New Orleans law enforcement veteran's sustained serious injuries in an on-duty incident.
The officer was investigating a vehicle fire with two police officers-in training when he was struck by a car. The officer had gotten out of a police vehicle that was parked on the shoulder of US 90B when he was hit. The car that hit him had been in a vehicle accident with a third vehicle prior to striking the 17-year police force veteran and parties in both of the accident-related vehicles were also hurt.
The injured police officer was taken to the hospital with serious injuries, and in the day following his incident it has been reported that his condition is dire. He is in a coma and struggling to overcome grave physical injuries.
Though investigators performed drunk driving tests on the driver who hit the officer, those tests yielded no evidence of impairment in the driver's system. He has not been charged with a crime, but drivers who cause serious car accidents do not have to face criminal charges to be pursued by civil claims.
Hopefully this police officer will recover from his significant injuries and will be able to return to doing the good work he performs as a law enforcement official. As he regains his faculties, he and his family may consider their rights toward pursuing compensation from the responsible driver. In the event that the officer succumbs to his injuries, his family may still have legal options for seeking their damages from the driver who hit their loved one.
Source: wdsu.com, "NOPD officer Vernell Brown in coma, 'grave condition,' officials say," Juan Sanchez, July 13, 2015