High-speed police chases are action scenes in movies, but they can happen in real life. Law enforcement has to pursue and apprehend suspects, which can involve vehicle pursuit on roads filled with innocent bystanders.
It is up to officers to decide if they can chase suspects safely and not put civilians in unnecessary harm. A police chase can lead to property damage, injuries, and even death. The Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) found that a person dies each day, on average, due to police chases.
Were you or your family member the victim of an accident that occurred during a police chase? An Anaheim police chase accidents lawyer can review your case and identify what damages you can seek for financial reimbursement. Contact us at Ben Crump Law, PLLC by calling (800) 598-7557.
Who Pays for Damages and Losses
We no longer live in the Wild West days of open shootouts in the streets. Law enforcement officials need to consider if the pursuit of a suspect outweighs the risk to others. For example, the police cannot shoot into an open crowd unless not doing so would cause a greater risk of injuries or death.
Police officers must also consider the risk to suspects. Our law enforcement has a duty to care and to act reasonably, even when in pursuit. For instance, a cop car might block an alleyway and force them to stop. However, ramming a vehicle off a bridge is excessive use of force.
California Vehicle Code (VEH) §21055 protects police and other emergency personnel responding to a call from breaking certain driving laws, like speeding or going down a one-way street. However, they can be liable for damages and losses for reckless and negligent actions.
Determining Liability in a Police Chase
The state uses a comparative negligence model when determining who is responsible for the collision. By means of example, the law may see two drivers who back into each other as equally liable or 50 percent. Even if you are 90 percent at fault for a crash, the other party is responsible for the other 10 percent of damages.
Parties that may be responsible for damages and losses can include one or a combination of the following:
- The fleeing suspects.
- The pursuing officers
- Other diverting drivers
If the police officers are responsible, they will not pay for damages directly. The city or agency may be responsible for paying for damages.
If the suspect or other drivers are responsible, they may be liable for your losses. However, their auto insurance company may be the party that pays. Individuals who do not have enough coverage will be personally responsible for court-ordered lawsuit awards.
Before filing a lawsuit, the insurance company may attempt to reach a settlement to reduce court expenses. You or your legal team will negotiate with representatives until reaching an agreed-upon amount. If we are unable to reach a settlement, we can press on to court.
Your Anaheim police chase accidents lawyer can help you determine who is at fault during a pursuit. At Ben Crump Law, PLLC, we gather information and evidence to support your claim. Contact us with questions about the accident that occurred because of a police chase.
For a free legal consultation with a police chase accidents lawyer serving Anaheim, call 800-959-1444
You have two years to seek compensation from a personal injury and wrongful damage lawsuit. If you were involved in a car accident during a police chase, your damages might be substantial. A collision could have caused:
- Property damage – Vehicles are the most common type of property harmed in a car chase, but buildings like homes and businesses can also suffer wreckage when on the wrong side of a pursuit.
- Personal injuries – A car accident can result in a range of injuries from bruised ribs to broken bones. Your injuries can cost a lot in medical bills, ongoing treatments, and therapy.
- Death – If your loved one died as the result of injuries suffered from a police chase, you can seek reimbursement for their medical costs, funeral fees, and burial expenses. You may also request a non-economic payment for the loss of your family member.
You may also seek additional compensation for other related losses. For instance, you might ask for lost wages if your injuries kept you from returning to work. If your injuries are disfiguring or disabling, you may want to include the loss of your future earnings.
Pain and suffering is a legal term that includes any of your physical, emotional, or mental anguish. Your injuries caused physical pain from the second of the accident, during recovery, and will possibly affect you throughout your life. Case in point, you have constant nerve damage for months to years after.
Mental anguish may include symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder or anxiety, which can appear after an accident. You might be suffering from emotional trauma if you lost your spouse, child, parent, or other close family members.
Anaheim Police Chase Accident Lawyer Near Me 800-959-1444
Police Chase Lawsuits
Your Anaheim police chase accidents lawyer can help you start the legal process of requesting payment for your losses. The legal team at Ben Crump Law, PLLC will research your claim to gather evidence. Some types of documentation that may be helpful can include the following:
- Medical records
- Video surveillance from body and security cameras
- Official records of the incident
- Testimony from eyewitnesses
- Photos of the accident scene
By means of example, we may discover that the police’s actions were excessive if the charge was a non-violent misdemeanor. This information can show the court that the officers involved were acting negligent or reckless.
Our team works on a contingency basis, which means we receive payment only if you win your claim. Our payment comes from your settlement or lawsuit award. We do not shy away from tough cases and will fight for your highest compensation.
Call us at (800) 598-7557 for a consultation or with questions about your claim. Our representatives want to help you so you do not continue to suffer financially.