Ex-Suspect Sues Arresting Officer, Township Over Crash

This is an unusual story that draws concerns over the potential liability a motorist can face for injuring a passenger in a New Jersey auto accident, especially when the driver is a public servant performing duties at the time of the crash.

Sue Marie Podolski was arrested in the early morning hours of Oct. 30 after police responded to a dispute she was having with a friend. While she was strapped into the backseat of Cpl. Robert Riva’s police cruiser on her way to the police station, the automobile collided with a deer in Hunterdon County, leaving Podolski with an abrasion on her neck from her seat belt.

According to Podolski, however, the injury did not end with the abrasion. She is in constant pain and has had one shoulder surgery since the time of the auto accident, and is scheduled to have another very soon. She has filed a lawsuit against the officer and the Readington Township seeking monies to help pay for her medical costs. The suit claims that Officer Riva was negligent and that he should have avoided the animal in the October 2005 crash.

This case illustrates the importance of hiring experienced legal counsel after any New Jersey auto accident. What was a simple collision with seemingly no serious injuries and no victims (with apologies to the deer in question) has now become a potential negligence claim against not only an officer, but his employer, the Township of Readington. Experienced car accident lawyers like the ones at Lependorf & Silverstein will know what questions to ask after the wreck and help you explore all avenues of restitution, insuring the best possible result for your case.

What started as a seat belt abrasion became a much more serious shoulder issue that will require multiple surgeries. If Ms. Podolski would have consulted with an attorney at the time of the accident, the proper questions may have been asked much earlier, and potential medical issues could have been avoided altogether. The foundations for a negligence claim may also have been laid out more completely and investigation such as witness interviews could have been completed in a timely manner.

Lependorf & Silverstein can help you recover economic and non-economic damages such as pain and suffering. Our New Jersey car accident lawyers are experienced in dealing with each element of an auto accident and will give everyone who contacts us a free consultation as to their rights. No matter how large or small your car accident and injuries are, we can help. Contact us today.