Police officers have a challenging and dangerous job, risking their lives daily to protect citizens. In many cases, they must make split-second decisions that will determine the outcome of the pursuit of a suspect or an arrest. In some cases, a suspect will flee from the police either by vehicle or on foot.
In these cases, a police officer must immediately decide whether to pursue the suspect, even if it appears the suspect violated the law. Police officers have a responsibility to weigh the risks between the pursuit of the suspect and the common good of catching a potential criminal, and the risk of endangering the public with the pursuit.
Sometimes despite the risk, a police chase will ensue, creating the possibility that the police or the suspect could hit a bystander and cause an accident. If the chase is by car, a driver or the driver’s passenger could suffer severe injuries or death, if adversely impacted in some way.
If you or a loved one is recovering from injuries as a result of a police chase in the Houston area, consider calling our legal team at 800-959-1444 to learn how a Houston accidents caused by police chase lawyer at Ben Crump Law, PLLC, might be able to help you. You might be able to pursue financial awards for your injuries or losses related to a police chase.
Police Chase Accidents Can Lead to Injuries
Police officers must correct decisions in a moment of time. However, police officers receive appropriate training to make these determinations independently.
One of the decisions a police officer has to make is what to do if a suspect attempts to flee after engaging in a potentially illegal act, or is detained by the police in some way after engaging in a potentially illegal act.
For example, if a police officer pulls over a vehicle because the motorist is suspected of driving while intoxicated or driving recklessly on the roadways, the suspect may decide to keep driving or drive away from the police officer after their traffic stop.
In this instance, a police officer must decide whether to pursue the suspect. The pursuit of a suspect could lead to potential injuries of other motorists or pedestrians. However, allowing a suspect that engaged in illegal or suspected illegal activity is also dangerous to the public.
Bystanders, unfortunately, become victims of police chase-related incidents. These include not only motorists but pedestrians, cyclists, and passengers in the cars that are involved in these chases. Some people may be struck by a police officer’s vehicle or the vehicle of a fleeing suspect, either while on the road or in an area near the chase site.
If the police officer pursues the suspect, bystanders or motorists could experience:
- Car accident injuries
- Gunshot injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Internal organ damage or internal bleeding
- Aortic dissection
- Neck and back injuries (spinal cord injuries)
- Broken and/or fractured bones
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or other psychological trauma
If you have suffered serious injuries from a recent police chase accident, you might be able to pursue legal action. If you have suffered injuries related to a police chase in Houston, consider calling Ben Crump Law, PLLC, to discuss your case and next steps. Call today for a free case review.
For a free legal consultation with a police chase accidents lawyer serving Houston, call (800) 598-7557
Compensation May Be Available
Before you can receive compensation for your injuries and losses, you must first prove liability in the police chase accident. Whoever is found liable, whether it is the police department or the suspect involved in the chase, must pay compensation for the expenses you incurred while recovering from the police chase accident. These may include:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of a limb
- Other accident-related expenses
If a loved one died during the police chase, you also could file a wrongful death lawsuit on their behalf and recover compensation for:
- Medical costs
- Decedent’s lost wages and benefits
- Funeral, burial costs
- Loss of companionship, loss of consortium
If you are considering pursuing your legal options, a lawyer can help you navigate the process, saving you time you can use to focus on recovering from your accident. A lawyer can also inform you of any developments in your case and make sure your lawsuit is filed by the statute of limitations deadline, which is two years in Texas, according to Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 16.003.
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Filing a Claim Against the Houston Police Department
The Houston Police Department has policies and procedures that must occur if a victim suffers injuries or losses as a result of a car accident in a police chase. First, a victim must completely fill out and submit a complaint affidavit to the Houston Police Department after it receives confirmation from a notary.
Additionally, a complaint against the police department may also occur in person at the Internal Affairs/Central Intake Office during normal business hours at the police headquarters.
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Consider How a Houston Accidents Caused by Police Chase Lawyer Can Help You
If you are a bystander or a motorist who has suffered injuries in a Houston-area police chase accident, you now have the task of establishing who is accountable in your accident so they can be held liable. This must happen first before you can pursue compensation. You have a legal right to receive justice for your injuries and losses related to a police chase.
While you do not need to hire a lawyer to represent you, having one to work on your behalf can help make the litigation process more manageable. Our legal team can handle tough cases and gather any evidence that helps your case for financial recovery.
Call Ben Crump Law, PLLC, at 800-959-1444, today for a free case review. You can ask questions so that you can understand your legal rights in this situation and how a Houston accidents caused by police chase lawyer could help you.
Call or text (800) 598-7557 or complete a Free Case Evaluation form