Getting caught in the crossfire during police highway chases can have severe consequences in Fort Worth, Texas. The police, the chase suspect, or another driver’s vehicle could collide with your car and cause extensive injuries, property damage, or even death. You may have also been inside the suspect’s car during the accident.
Whatever the situation may be, Texas allows you to take legal action against the parties responsible for your suffering, regardless of whether they work for the government. If you are interested in learning what legal options you may have, contact Ben Crump Law, PLLC, at (800) 959-1444 today. One of the firm’s Fort Worth accidents caused by police chase lawyers can review your case and help you with your next steps.
Police and Chase Suspects Can Both Be Held Liable
In accidents resulting from police chases, the suspect will usually be at fault—or share part of it—for the damage done. Even if the suspect did not crash into your vehicle, they could still be held liable because they caused the chase to happen.
Meanwhile, law enforcement tends to have more room for violating traffic rules while apprehending someone. But according to Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 101.021, the state can hold officers accountable if they directly caused property damage, injuries, or deaths due to their negligence or malicious actions while on the job.
For a free legal consultation with a police chase accidents lawyer serving Fort Worth, call (800) 959-1444
Liability Insurance Can Help Cover Costs
Both private citizens and public officers have to carry liability insurance coverage as the Texas statutes require. If they cause an accident, the insurance will help cover their victim’s expenses. If you want to avail of this coverage, you can file a claim with the liable party’s insurance provider.
Keep in mind that the insurer typically does not want to reimburse you entirely. They might try to reduce the amount by diminishing their client’s liability in the accident. For instance, they could argue that the car manufacturer is at fault because there was a defect in the vehicle that caused the car to swerve and collide with yours.
A Fort Worth accidents caused by police chase lawyer can help find the evidence needed to prove the other party’s liability or determine other factors involved in the accident. They can also negotiate with their insurance company or legal team to give you a more acceptable outcome.
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Filing an Accident Lawsuit
You may have a situation wherein the police officer or the suspect’s insurance cannot cover all your expenses. In this case, the insurance claim may also not work in your favor. If this happens, you can still file an accident lawsuit in civil court. A successful trial can have the court order the defendant to pay compensatory damages, even if they do not have insurance.
The state lets you recover economic damages such as medical bills, car repairs, lost earnings, or funeral and burial costs. Noneconomic damages compensate you for your physical and emotional pain, suffering, and even disabilities.
A Fort Worth accidents caused by police chase lawyer is familiar with state law as well as laws in your county that are related to your case. They can help ensure you comply with your case’s requirements and guide you in court proceedings. For further inquiries, call the office of Ben Crump Law, PLLC.
Providing Public Officials with a Formal Notice
If the police are defendants in your accident case, Texas requires you first to submit a formal notice. You should provide the details regarding the accident, such as the people involved, the date and location, how it happened, and how much damage you suffered.
An attorney can assist in gathering all the information needed for the notice and ensure it reaches the right people.
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Filing Deadlines for Police Chase Accidents
Road accident lawsuits can involve personal injury, property damage, and wrongful death claims. As such, you need to follow the statute of limitations for filing your lawsuit in Texas. All three have a two-year time limit, per Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 16.003. For personal injury and property damage, the countdown starts on the date when the accident occurred. For wrongful death claims, it begins once the victim dies.
If the police are also liable for your injuries, you have a much-limited time window. The state provides claimants only six months to file a lawsuit against a government entity, including law enforcement agencies.
In most instances, the court will dismiss your suit if you cannot comply with the submission date. The deadline may get extended for some exceptions, such as if your injury or other impairments kept you from filing the case. If the plaintiff is a minor, the state will wait until they reach age 18.
A Fort Worth accidents caused by police chase lawyer can help determine your case’s exact due date so you can file it on time.
Damage Caps for Cases Involving Government Entities
Do note that Texas places damage caps for lawsuits against public agencies and employees, including police officers. Their limit for one person is $250,000 and $500,000 in total for one accident. So if a party of five suffered injuries from the police chase accident and decide to file a case, they may only receive up to $100,000 each.
On the other hand, the state does not have any damage caps for vehicular accident cases against private citizens. An accident lawyer can compile the records of your expenses to calculate your total damages accurately.
We Are Here to Fight for Justice
Knowing that a police officer may be at fault for your injuries and expenses should not stop you from taking matters to court. The office of Ben Crump Law, PLLC, has a Fort Worth accidents caused by police chase lawyer who can help compile your case’s requirements and represent you in private settlements or court trials. To learn more about our services, do not hesitate to call us at (800) 959-1444 for a free case evaluation.