Police chases are inherently dangerous, as they involve at least two vehicles and often many more, chasing a suspect or suspects fleeing from law enforcement. Police chases typically involve driving at extremely high speeds, weaving in and out of traffic, and ignoring traffic signals. Innocent bystanders or those in cars unrelated to the police chase often pay the price.
Indeed, according to USA Today, more than 5000 bystanders and passengers have died in police chases since 1979. Shockingly, those figures may considerably underestimate the problem, as the study used police reports to arrive at these figures and not all police reports actually state that when a chase occurred.
If you suffered serious injuries in a police chase-related accident, or your loved one died in such an accident, you should consult with a Baltimore accidents caused by police chase lawyer. There may be legal options open to you for recovering compensation.
Contact Ben Crump Law, PLLC today for more information: 800-598-7557.
Recovering Damages in a Police Chase Accident
Unfortunately, trying to recover compensation when you have been hurt in a police chase accident can be extremely challenging. Police officers typically get immunity from personal injury lawsuits. Proving that a police officer is at fault for the accident will most likely not be enough to have a case. However, if you can prove that a police officer acted recklessly and that this caused the accident and your injuries, you may have legal options.
For a free legal consultation with a car accidents lawyer serving Baltimore, call 800-598-7557
How Does Maryland Law Address Police Chases?
According to Maryland Code, Transportation § 21-106, drivers of emergency vehicles may:
(b) (2) Pass a red or stop signal, a stop sign, or a yield sign, but only after slowing down as necessary for safety;
(b) (3) Exceed any maximum speed limit, but only so long as the driver does not endanger life or property;
(b) (4) Disregard any traffic control device or regulation governing direction of movement or turning in a specified direction;
Baltimore City Police Department General Order No. 11-90 also deals with police chases. According to this order, the Baltimore police, when responding to an emergency call, must stop their vehicle when intending to cross an intersection against a red traffic signal. When responding to an emergency, the police must bring their vehicle to a full stop before crossing against any traffic control devices.
According to Maryland law then, a police officer or other driver of an emergency vehicle still has to apply a certain amount of reasonable care when engaged in a police chase.
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Can You Sue a Police Officer in Maryland?
Depending on your unique circumstances, the law may be on your side. However, suing a police officer is quite different from suing a civilian. Instead of going after the negligent individual, you would be filing suit against the State of Maryland, and this comes with its own challenges.
Suing the state is not a straightforward personal injury case. Instead, you would be filing a “Tort Claims Act”. There are very specific steps you need to follow for your claim to be valid. The second complication is that you generally only have one year to file your claim.
However, do not feel intimidated by these challenges. If you have a good case, you deserve compensation and should seek justice from the State of Maryland. Speak to a Baltimore accidents caused by police chase lawyer who can help you with a Tort Claims Act case today.
What if the Fleeing Person is Responsible?
You may also be able to recover damages from the suspect who was being chased by police if they caused your accident and injuries. It is extremely likely that, at the time of the accident, they broke various traffic laws and endangered bystanders through their reckless driving and eluding police. This will be well documented in the police report, which can serve as evidence for negligence.
Hiring a Car Accident Lawyer
Taking the state to court is no mean feat and hiring a car accident lawyer is probably one of the best decisions you can make when trying to get justice in a police chase accident. A car accident lawyer will not only be able to file the necessary legal action, but also build your case and help you prove negligence. A lawyer can help to:
- Offer professional legal advice
- Identify the liable party in your accident
- Gather evidence
- Prove negligence of the at-fault driver
- Calculate your damages accurately and comprehensively
- Represent your professionally in court
A Baltimore accidents caused by police chase lawyer can help you recover compensation such as:
Medical expenses can include hospital stays, out-patient treatments, specialist visits, surgeries, medical devices, and many other expenses. You may also receive awards for future medical costs.
If you suffered severe and life-altering injuries, you may need a considerable time off work and, in some cases, may not be able to work again at all. You can potentially receive compensation for any lost income and future lost income.
Pain and Anguish
Emotional distress as well as physical pain, unfortunately, go hand in hand with serious injuries and extensive medical treatments. You may be able to get compensation for these so-called “non-economic” damages, as well as others, in a lawsuit.
If your loved one died during a police chase accident, you could potentially file a wrongful death lawsuit and recover additional compensation such as funeral expenses, loss of companionship, loss of income and benefits from the deceased, as well as others.
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Contact Us Today
If you are looking to recover compensation for your injuries in a police chase accident, you have no time to lose. Your time for filing a suit may be limited. Speak to a Baltimore accidents caused by police chase lawyer as soon as you can to discover your legal options.
Police chase accidents can be tough to litigate, but we do not shy away from such cases. If a police officer or suspect’s gross negligence caused your injuries and damages, they should make you whole again. We can fight for your rights.
Call Ben Crump Law, PLLC now for your free, no-obligation consultation: 800-598-7557.