Police chase car accidents can leave individuals severely hurt, leaving them to recover from catastrophic injuries and trauma. In some cases, these accidents even may be fatal. Victims can pursue compensation for their losses from the responsible parties, including the government body that operates the law enforcement agency involved in the accident, where appropriate. Contacting a Long Beach accidents caused by police chase lawyer can be key in helping you obtain compensation for your losses.
At Ben Crump Law, PLLC, we know that finances are often tight in the aftermath of an accident. You are likely overwhelmed by medical bills and related expenses, a loss of income, and a severely damaged or destroyed vehicle. Fortunately, you do not have to pay us any fees upfront or out-of-pocket to get started on your case. We receive no fees for our legal services unless you win a financial award for your injuries.
Call (800) 598-7557 to take the first step toward holding negligent law enforcement agencies responsible for their actions. We can schedule a free consultation to discuss the legal options that are available to you.
Police Chase Accidents Resulting in Injuries and Fatalities
In 2017, the U.S. Department of Justice issued a special report analyzing data on the estimated 68,000 state and local police vehicle pursuits that occurred nationwide in 2012. Local police departments conducted the largest number of these pursuits, followed by sheriff offices and state police agencies.
This data showed that from 1996 to 2015, police chases across the nation caused, on average, about one fatality per day, or about 355 fatalities per year in about 300 fatal accidents. About two-thirds of those fatalities involved the people in the vehicle that police officers were chasing. The remainder of the fatalities were people in vehicles not involved in the pursuit or other uninvolved bystanders.
From 2009 to 2013, an average of two serious injuries and 10 minor injuries occurred during police chases. Again, about 76% of those who suffered severe injuries were the suspects that police were pursuing at the time of the crash. Another 21% of those seriously injured were not involved in the chase, and the other 3% consisted of police officers.
As federal government agencies collect little updated data on this problem, the incidence of injuries and fatalities that result from police chases might be even higher. When injuries in high-speed police chases occur, a Long Beach accidents caused by police chase lawyer might be able to help injured parties pursue legal recourse.
For a free legal consultation with a police chase accidents lawyer serving Long Beach, call 800-959-1444
Determining Fault in Police Chase Accidents
Different parties may be at fault for causing your accident. Likely, the suspects pursued were not looking out for other vehicles or obeying traffic laws during the police chase. For instance, the suspects who were the focus of the police chase might have been speeding, running red lights and stop signs, and generally driving recklessly when they caused your accident. In this situation, they may be responsible for compensating you for your injuries, including related medical bills, lost wages, and more.
The government agencies that employ the police officers involved in the crash also may be liable for your injuries in selected cases. Although California Vehicle Code (VEH) §17004.7b 1(d) provides immunity for police officers when their actions result in property damage or bodily injury, this immunity does not apply in all cases. For example, VEH §17001 states that public entities, including law enforcement agencies, can be responsible for property damage, bodily harm, or death that occurs proximately due to a negligent or wrongful act or omission when operating a motor vehicle within the scope of their employment.
As a result, police officers who engage in a reckless, unwarranted police chase based on the circumstances could expose the agencies or departments they work for to liability. Likewise, if police officers violated department policies on vehicle pursuits, they also might make their law enforcement agencies liable for bodily injury or property damage in the accidents they cause.
If you are interested in pursuing a lawsuit over an accident caused by a police chase, call Ben Crump Law, PLLC, today for a free case evaluation. We can speak with you in more detail about your situation and answer the questions you have.
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Deadlines for Filing Police Chase Accident Claims
All lawsuits are subject to strict deadlines or statutes of limitations under state law. These deadlines can differ significantly according to the state and type of lawsuit involved. In California, however, these deadlines may also differ based on who you are suing for compensation.
In most car accident injury claims, injured parties have two years from the date of the accident to file their claims in court under California Code of Civil Procedure (CCP) §335.1. However, if one of the potentially responsible parties in your police car chase injury claim is a municipal or state government entity, then special rules govern your claim. Under California Government Code (GOV) §911.2, you must give notice to the appropriate government entity within six months of the date of the accident. If you fail to follow these strict rules, you could risk losing out on any chance of gaining compensation for your losses.
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We Are Here for You
Whether you were the subject of a police chase or a bystander, you have the right to seek compensation for those responsible for causing your injuries. We can analyze the circumstances that led to the crash and identify all potentially liable parties. Next, we can gather the evidence necessary to build a strong case on your behalf. Enlisting the help of a Long Beach accidents caused by police chase lawyer also can help ensure that you meet all necessary deadlines and filing requirements.
Although your circumstances may seem initially overwhelming, you do not have to go through the complex claims process alone. Contact Ben Crump Law, PLLC, at (800) 598-7557 and learn more about what steps you need to take to pursue your claim for compensation. Together, we can work to hold negligent or reckless parties accountable for their actions in causing your injuries. We also can focus on getting you compensation while you concentrate your efforts on healing from your injuries.
Call or text 800-959-1444 or complete a Free Case Evaluation form