Part of police work is to chase fleeing crime suspects, often resulting in a high-speed pursuit. Such activity typically ends up causing harm to motorists and bystanders and destroying property in the process. For unfortunate victims, they end up bearing the financial losses of the accident, including medical expenses, lost earnings, and damaged possessions.
If you suffered injuries from a police chase, you might be entitled to a fair settlement. Connect with a Chicago accidents caused by police chase lawyer from Ben Crump Law, PLLC to better understand your rights in the situation. Call 800-959-1444 to jumpstart discussions on your case with their free evaluation.
Establishing Liability in Police Pursuits Is Challenging
Despite being a necessary law enforcement activity, high-speed police car chases remain a public concern, and for a good reason. According to USA Today, since 1979, tens of thousands have suffered injuries and property damage because police officers continued to pursue offenders fleeing via a vehicle, even for the smallest of violations. More often than not, the ensuing car chase causes an accident, especially when it happens in populated neighborhoods, around busy areas, or in broad daylight. Chicago is a city with one of the highest figures for pursuit-related injuries and fatalities.
In such cases, proving liability is more difficult as it would be in a typical car accident. Although negligence will be the basis for your claim, the police can argue that their actions were justified. Going above the speed limit is against the law, but if it is essential to apprehend a suspect who may be causing more harm to others, then it is acceptable.
There are numerous instances when high-speed pursuits are reasonable. For example, a law enforcement officer strikes the getaway vehicle of carjackers to prevent their escape, injuring the driver and passengers in the act. In this case, the involved police officers and public entities are not held liable for the resulting harm and destruction because of a legitimate law enforcement objective. If you were among those injured, it is best to consult a Chicago accidents caused by police chase lawyer to determine liability and recover compensation from the incident.
For a free legal consultation with a police chase accidents lawyer serving Chicago, call 800-959-1444
You Can File a Claim Against the Police
Government employees like police officers have a civil immunity against liability in the line of work under the Local Governmental and Governmental Employees Tort Immunity Act 745 ILCS 10/1-101.1. Some states do not link the responsibility of a police chase to the officers in pursuit. However, that does not mean they can get off scot-free.
Police departments have implemented pursuit policies to address the increasing danger of high-speed chases to suspects and those uninvolved, such as bystanders and motorists. Law enforcement officers need to weigh the risks and benefits first—will the suspect pose more harm to others if they were not apprehended immediately? Moreover, they have to factor in several considerations, such as other alternatives, nature of the offense, vehicle and pedestrian traffic, speed, and road conditions. If they decide to engage in a car chase, they have to do so reasonably and safely.
If there were breaches in standard protocols, the involved police officers might be responsible for your injuries, whether you are a suspect or bystander. They were negligent in their actions, failing to exercise due care while carrying out their duties. They have to protect the public and not harm them.
As an injured victim, you have the right to receive compensation from those liable, regardless of whether you were inside the pursued vehicle or struck by a police car. Connect with a Chicago accidents caused by police chase lawyer at Ben Crump Law, PLLC by calling for a no-obligation consultation.
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Consider Pursuing a Claim from the Chased Suspect
Another way to recover your financial losses from the accident is to pursue a liability claim from the chased individual, based on the legal theory of negligence. They breached their duty of care and acted negligently, causing harm and property damage and putting others at risk. For instance, driving above the speed limit to evade capture is negligence per se and can be grounds for other charges aside from a liability claim. As such, they should be responsible for the consequences, including compensating you for your accident-related injuries.
Moreover, you can also collect compensation for pain and suffering you may have experienced. The chased suspect has inflicted emotional or psychological distress to you, triggering their liability for your situation.
How an Accident Lawyer Can Help You
Pursuing a personal injury claim or lawsuit due to a police chase is complicated. If you decide to file a liability claim against involved law enforcement officers or public entities, it entails a different process from typical accidents. For one, you have to submit documents found on the City of Chicago website and follow the deadlines. Moreover, the hurdle of proving the police’s liability is high because of their inherent immunity. It is difficult to pin the responsibility for your injuries on someone performing their public duties, i.e., apprehending a fleeing suspect.
Instead of representing yourself, it is helpful to work with a Chicago accidents caused by police chase lawyer. They will conduct a thorough investigation of the event to establish liability unequivocally. In the process, they may discover possible breaches or lapses in car chase protocols that resulted in injuries and property damage.
A police chase lawyer will also be more accurate in estimating a fair settlement amount for your case. Sometimes, accident-related injuries are severe, which can affect the victim’s quality of life. It is only reasonable to offer the compensation that you deserve.
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Illinois Statute of Limitations on Car Accidents
In the state of Illinois, you have two years to bring a lawsuit against the party liable for your injuries from a police chase accident. This is in accordance with statute of limitations 735 ILCS 5/13-202. Do not wait to take legal action. The sooner you reach out for help with your case, the sooner you may be able to recover your losses.
Ben Crump Law, PLLC wants to be your legal advocate. Contact our firm today for a free, no-risk case review with a member of our team. We are here to protect your rights. We want to win you justice and a fair financial award to help you move forward. Call 800-959-1444 today.
Turn to Us for Legal Support You Can Trust
At Ben Crump Law, PLLC, their Chicago accidents caused by police chase lawyers will fight for your legal rights as an injured victim. They understand that seeking compensation from those liable will be an uphill battle, so you can rest assured that they will be with you every step of the way. When your case goes to trial, they will provide strong representation to fight for what you deserve.
Call 800-959-1444 for an initial consultation with one of our team members.