In real life, police chases are not the thrilling, perfectly choreographed events you see in the movies. Actual police chases can result in very real injuries and fatalities. When police officers decide to chase a suspect, it is not only themselves and the alleged criminals they put in danger. Every other driver on the road may be at risk.
If you were hurt in a police chase, a Las Vegas accidents caused by police chase lawyer may be able to help you fight for compensation. Cases involving government entities and employees can be complicated, but the team at Ben Crump Law, PLLC can provide you with help. To learn more about how we can assist you, call (800) 598-7557.
Police Chases Are Dangerous
Police chases often happen at high speeds and may involve dangerous driving maneuvers by both the suspect and the officer in pursuit. The Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) found that from 1996 to 2015, an average of more than 350 people per year was killed in police chase related crashes.
Because of their dangerous nature, it is vital that officers carefully consider the potential for harm before deciding to give chase. To this end, the majority of local law enforcement agencies have policies in place regarding police pursuits. Las Vegas is no exception. The North Las Vegas Police Department Policy Manual includes a section on vehicle pursuits. In summary, the policy states:
- Officers should make the decision to chase only with the primary goal of the safety of innocent citizens in mind. Officers should also consider their own safety and the safety of the passengers in the vehicle being pursued.
- Preserving lives and public safety are more important than property or the swift apprehension of non-violent criminals.
- Every time an officer stops a vehicle, they should be aware that pursuit is possible and plan accordingly.
- Officers should consider the nature of the suspect’s offense when deciding to initiate, continue, or discontinue a chase.
- Officers are ultimately responsible for deciding to chase a suspect or force a stop. They will make decisions based on the information available at the time of the pursuit.
For a free legal consultation with a police chase accidents lawyer serving Las Vegas, call (800) 598-7557
Responsibility for Your Accident
In general, if you are in a car accident in Nevada, you can seek compensation through the at-fault driver’s insurance provider. This is a bit trickier when you are involved in an accident caused by a police chase. For starters, the vehicle that hit you may be being pursued or in pursuit, meaning the driver is not going to stop to provide you with their insurance information. Also, accidents caused by police chases involve government employees (police officers) as well as private citizens (the suspect).
If you were injured because of a police chase, a Las Vegas accidents caused by a police chase lawyer can help you determine who is liable for your accident. Liability could fall with the suspect, the officer, or both.
If the police officer was justified in giving chase, liability for your accident may fall squarely with the suspect. You may file a claim with the suspect’s insurance provider, but this will only be a successful means of seeking compensation if the driver is insured. Sometimes, a suspect’s insurance policy may be void if they caused an accident while committing a crime (fleeing). In these circumstances, your lawyer will do everything possible to negotiate a settlement with the insurer that covers your expenses. If an insurance claim cannot satisfy your costs, you can attempt to sue the driver in civil court.
If the officer involved is liable for your damages, your attorney can help you file a claim with the city. According to the City of Las Vegas, Nevada website, if you believe your injuries are the fault of a city employee, you must file a Notice of Claim.
Once you have submitted your claim, the city will conduct an investigation to determine:
- Facts related to the claim
- Applicable laws
- Whether or not the city has responsibility or jurisdiction
- Your role in the incident
- The nature and extent of your damages
A lawyer can help you prepare this claim and ensure that you are providing ample evidence to support it. The city will notify you, in writing, about the outcome of your claim. If the city denies you compensation, your attorney can help you sue for awards, including your property damages, medical bills, pain and suffering, back pay, and more.
Las Vegas Police Chase Accident Lawyer Near Me (800) 598-7557
Seeking Damages if You Were the Fleeing Suspect
In some instances, you may be owed damages even if you were in the vehicle being pursued. Not every crime warrants a chase. If the officer was reckless or negligent in deciding to pursue, you may be able to seek compensation.
If you were later found innocent of the crime for which you were pursued, the officer may be liable. Nevada also allows plaintiffs to seek partial compensation in instances where they bear responsibility for their accident. Under Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) §41.141, as long as you are 50% at fault or less, you can be compensated proportionally to your degree of responsibility.
Ben Crump Law, PLLC
Ben Crump Law, PLLC believes the powerful should not be allowed to take advantage of the powerless. Police officers can make mistakes in the line of duty. When those mistakes injure others, they should be held responsible. Wearing a badge does not give anyone permission to behave recklessly.
A Las Vegas accidents caused by a police chase lawyer can help you with the complexities of your case. Call our team at (800) 598-7557.