The stress and fear that come with a serious vehicle collision are enough on their own. However, this stress is often amplified when the accident occurs during a high-speed police chase. Many of the injuries in these accidents are severe, and some are even fatal.
Although the police have a duty to protect the public, their pursuit of a subject can result in dangerous police chases. When these chases occur in crowded neighborhoods, the possibility of a crash occurring increases dramatically.
If you have suffered an injury in a police chase accident, you do not have to pursue justice alone. The team at Ben Crump Law, PLLC, can be your advocate during this challenging time.
To discuss how we can help, call (800) 598-7557 to schedule a free consultation today and learn how a Fresno accidents caused by police chase lawyer might be able to help you.
Police Chase Accident Injuries
Given that police chases usually occur at high speeds, the injuries that follow these accidents are often severe. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), roughly 350 people died every year in a police chase between 1996 through 2015. The number of nonfatal injuries was far more expansive.
According to figures that USA Today published in a report, the issue of dangerous police chases could be more common than the BJS figures let on. Its reporting suggests that the BJS figures are low given that many accident reports do not specify that a crash involved a police chase.
The USA Today article goes on to highlight the victims of these accidents. Many of those injured or killed in police chases are not the subject of the chase. Roughly half of the fatalities resulting from police chases since the 1970s involved bystanders or motorists.
The injuries that occur in these accidents are often severe. This is especially true for pedestrians and cyclists caught in the collision. Common injuries of these accidents include:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), including concussions
- Broken legs
- Broken ribs
- Spinal damage
- Severe burns
- Cuts and bruises
- Internal bleeding
- Back injuries
If you have suffered serious injuries in a police chase accident, you could have a viable claim for compensation. Ben Crump Law, PLLC, is prepared to review your case and advise you on your best path forward. Contact our team today to learn how a Fresno accidents caused by police chase lawyer can start on your case.
For a free legal consultation with a accidents caused by police chase lawyer serving Fresno, call (800) 598-7557
Potential Targets of Personal Injury Lawsuits
In many cases, there are multiple potential defendants in a personal injury claim stemming from a reckless police chase. Not only could you pursue legal action against the fleeing motorist, but you might also have a claim against the police. One of the first steps your attorney will take in your case is to assess liability and determine which parties were at fault for the crash.
Fresno Accident Caused by Police Chase Lawyer Near Me (800) 598-7557
The individual fleeing from the police is frequently the target of a resulting personal injury lawsuit. After all, it is their careless act of fleeing from the police that initiates the chase in the first place. Many fleeing drivers travel at high speed, run red lights, and even travel the wrong way down one-way streets. Any of this behavior rises to the level of negligence in a personal injury claim.
There is no doubt that the fleeing suspect in a police chase could be liable for your injuries. However, they might not always be the most important defendant in your case.
Their liability insurance policies do not cover many people who flee from the police at the time of the crash.
Even though they might be clearly in the wrong, the suspect driver might not have the assets that are needed to satisfy your injury claim.
It is important to consider pursuing legal action against the police in these cases for multiple reasons. In some cases, the officers involved in these accidents could be negligent in their pursuit of the suspect. Frequently, the police will travel at high speeds to catch up with the suspect they are pursuing. In some cases, they will make risky attempts to disable the driver’s vehicle to end the chase.
That said, pursuing an injury claim against the police is not simple. State law generally protects individual police officers from any injuries they cause during a police chase. You might have a claim against a police department if your attorney can establish their officers acted with disregard for your safety during the chase. These claims are complex, so you might want to talk with an attorney who can advise you further in this area.
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Time Limits on Filing a Lawsuit
There is a strict deadline for personal injury lawsuits known as the statute of limitations. As long as you file your claim before the statute in your state expires, you retain your ability to pursue compensation for your injuries.
In California, per California Code of Civil Procedure (CCP) § 335.1, that deadline is generally two years from the accident date. However, claims against governmental entities like the police are treated differently under state law.
You must file an administrative claim for compensation with the government within six months of the accident to pursue a case against the police. Within 45 days of filing your claim, the agency responsible for these cases will either accept your claim or reject it. You have the right to file a lawsuit if you disagree with the outcome. If the agency does not respond to your claim, you then have within two years to file it from the accrual of the cause of action, per Government Code (GOV) § 945.6 (a)(2).
The claims process and what may follow after it can be intimidating, but a Fresno accidents caused by police chase lawyer can guide you through everything and manage your case from start to finish.
Let Our Team Fight for You
Whether you were a bystander or a nearby motorist, you deserve justice for your injuries stemming from a police chase accident. Your situation might feel hopeless, but you have the right to pursue a legal claim against those that caused your injuries.
The team at Ben Crump Law, PLLC, is ready to help in every aspect of your case. Dial (800) 598-7557 to schedule your free consultation today.