The way police chases are depicted in movies, you might imagine they are full of adrenaline and always involve a criminal who has done something unspeakably evil.
On the one hand, the presence of adrenaline in a police chase is unquestionable. On the other, these types of chases do not always end well for the officers involved, the pursued party, or the bystanders. It is possible for a police officer, during a chase, to get into a car accident with another driver, even if that driver has pulled over to the side of the road.
If you find yourself faced with personal injury or property damage after a police chase in Jacksonville, Florida, know that you do not have to accept that loss as a cost of police protection. Instead, you have the option to pursue a lawsuit against the party that caused your losses.
Ben Crump Law, PLLC, can work with you to identify the party liable for your damages and present your case as such that you can fight for compensation. If you have injuries, working with a Jacksonville accidents caused by police chase lawyer allows you to focus on recovering from those while your attorney brings your case together.
For a free consultation, call (800) 598-7557.
Civil Cases, Police, and Legal Quirks
While police officers should face consequences for their actions, they do not always have to. In most states, police officers are protected by sovereign immunity law. Sovereign immunity law notes that police officers cannot face civil suits that accuse them of negligence while on duty. This means that, should you get into a car accident with a police officer while that officer is pursuing another party, you may not accuse the officer of negligence.
Florida, however, passed a law in 1972 that waived its sovereign immunity to be sued for negligence claims (tort claims), according to the state’s Division of Risk Management. The statute concerning this is Florida Statutes §768.28.
Therefore, you can pursue a case against that officer. You might need to present the case in terms of another factor, such as reckless behavior. An attorney can advise you further in this matter.
For a free legal consultation with a police chase accidents lawyer serving Jacksonville, call (800) 598-7557
The First Step: Getting Your Case to the Floor
Before you can bring a car accident case together, you must first establish that such a case may be brought before a court, to begin with. To do so, you can work with a Jacksonville accidents caused by police chase lawyer to prove the following:
- You, a Florida driver, were entitled to a duty of care as presented by other drivers on the road, including the police officer in question, during your accident
- The police officer you wish to hold liable for your losses demonstrated reckless behavior, violating the duty of care
- The reckless behavior the police officer exhibited exceeded that which was necessary to respond to the pursued party
To break those down further, consider this: when you take to the road in Florida or any other state, you enter an implicit agreement with the other drivers on the road. In this agreement, you work to abide by roadway rules for the sake of other drivers’ safety and your own. This is called your duty of care, and just as you hold it to all other drivers, they hold it to you.
Violation of the duty of care often involves the deliberate endangerment of other drivers on the road, even if that endangerment does not target one party in particular. Examples of a roadway violation of duty of care include:
- Turning without signaling
- Making rude gestures at other drivers
- Ignoring stop signs, stoplights, yield signs, or other roadway indicators
Police officers, naturally, are allowed certain behaviors as a police chase occurs. For example, all cars not considered emergency vehicles must move to the side of the road when a police cruiser has its lights and siren on. Similarly, these vehicles do not always have to abide by roadway signs when in pursuit.
That, however, is where the final caveat comes into play. Officers must display a level of behavior that matches the severity of the pursued party’s offense. For example, if the pursued party ran over a pedestrian, then a police officer may be allowed to display more aggressive roadway behaviors than said officer would if the pursued party ran a stoplight without injuring anyone.
A Jacksonville accidents caused by police chase lawyer with Ben Crump Law, PLLC, can walk you through your case’s specifics.
Jacksonville Police Chase Accident Lawyer Near Me (800) 598-7557
You can Collaborate with a Jacksonville Accidents Caused by Police Chase Lawyer
Should you be able to prove the aforementioned regarding your case, then you can choose how best to pursue compensation for your losses. You can do this by either filing a complaint detailing your case with a judge in your area or by issuing a demand letter to the officer who you believe to be liable for your losses.
These two documents look and work similarly. Both detail the identity of the party you wish to hold responsible for your losses as well as the evidence you have to establish that person’s involvement in your accident. You can also include an estimate of the compensation you seek in a demand letter and a complaint.
You deliver a demand letter, however, to the party you wish to hold liable for your losses. In this case, that means it would go to a specific police officer. Comparatively, you deliver a complaint to a judge in your area.
You must do so, too, within Florida’s statute of limitations on cases involving public entities, which is three years from the incident date, according to Florida’s Division of Risk Management. If you miss this deadline, you risk losing the opportunity to fight for compensation.
A Jacksonville accidents caused by police chase lawyer can help you compose both of the aforementioned documents, depending on which one you believe best serves your purposes. During this time, you will not receive a bill from Ben Crump Law, PLLC–we operate on contingency and will charge you only if you receive compensation for your losses.
If you want to discuss your police chase car accident in more detail, you can call Ben Crump Law, PLLC, today at (800) 598-7557 to set up a free consultation.