Police chases injure and kill thousands of people every year, many of whom are bystanders who have committed no crime. From 1996 to 2013, about one person per day, per year, was killed in a police chase, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics.
About half of all police chase accident victims are motorists not involved in the chase, according to a USA Today analysis. Often, these drivers are struck by the fleeing suspect. Rarely is the officer giving pursuit the accident victim.
Police chases, by nature, may lead to high-speed, reckless driving. Police officers need to use caution and careful consideration before engaging pursuit to protect other drivers.
If you were injured in a police chase, you may be entitled to damages. An Oakland accidents caused by police chase lawyer may be able to help you seek compensation. For more information, contact Ben Crump Law, PLLC, at 800-959-1444.
Police Chase Accident Liability
If you were injured in a police chase, you might be wondering who is responsible for your injuries. If a fleeing suspect hit you, that individual might be liable. The officer who initiated the chase may also be held liable.
When deciding to pursue a suspect, a law enforcement officer needs to weigh the seriousness of the suspect’s alleged crime against the potential harm a chase may cause. Officers should ask themselves if the crime warrants a chase and if there may be safer ways to capture the suspect. If chase is given, officers must also judge when to stop pursuit.
In some cases, if a police officer causes an accident in pursuit of a suspect, they may not be personally liable for damages. However, even during a police chase, law enforcement officers are expected to drive with a reasonable duty of care. If the officer was behaving negligently or recklessly, he may be responsible for your injuries, according to California Vehicle Code § 17000.
An Oakland accidents caused by police chase lawyer may be able to help investigate the events leading up to your accident and determine who is liable for your injuries. A lawyer also might be able to help you pursue awards from the fleeing suspect, law enforcement officer, or even the municipality responsible for the police department.
If your claims can be negotiated through an insurance provider, Ben Crump Law, PLLC, may be able to help you achieve a favorable payout. Contact our legal team today so that we can start reviewing your options for financial recovery via the required insurance coverage for all California drivers. You might also have additional coverages that could help you.
For a free legal consultation with a police chase accidents lawyer serving Oakland, call 800-959-1444
If you were responsible for your police chase accident, you may still be able to seek compensation under California’s negligence laws. California follows a pure comparative negligence model, meaning you may pursue awards, even if you are 99 percent responsible for your accident. Your amount of fault will reduce any settlement you win. For example, if you are awarded $100,000, but are 60 percent at fault, you would receive $40,000.
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What You Could Recover
An Oakland accidents caused by police chase lawyer may be able to help you seek damages for:
- Medical expenses. This may include emergency department visits, hospital stays, surgeries, medications, physical therapy, and other accident-related costs.
- Property damages. If your vehicle or other personal property was damaged in a police chase accident, you may be able to recover awards for the costs of repairs or replacement.
- Lost wages. If you have missed work because of your injuries, you might be entitled to lost wages. If you can no longer perform the same job as before your accident, you may be awarded future lost wages or permanent disability payments.
- Pain and suffering. You may be compensated for stress, anxiety, loss of enjoyment of life, scarring, disfigurement, loss of a limb, and more.
- Wrongful death. If your loved one was killed, you may be able to seek damages on their behalf. You may also seek awards for your loss of companionship and loss of financial support.
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Statute of Limitations
If you are interested in pursuing a civil lawsuit, you should be aware of the statutes of limitations that apply to your case. Statutes of limitations are time limits, established by state law, that govern how much time you have to bring legal action.
California CIV § 335.1 statute of limitations allows two years to file a lawsuit for claims of personal injury or wrongful death. The statute of limitations for property damage is three years. In general, the clock on the statute begins at the time of your accident. If the statute of limitations expires, you might not be able to pursue your case.
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Ben Crump Law, PLLC
At Ben Crump Law, PLLC, we believe in helping victims pursue justice. Our legal team can help you through every step of your case, from filing your claims to representing you in court. Whether the person responsible for your injuries is a suspect, officer, or municipality, we will not back down.
Police officers should always behave with caution and care for the public, even when attempting to apprehend a suspect. If you were injured because of a reckless or unnecessary chase, you should not have to shoulder the costs of your accident alone.
An Oakland accidents caused by police chase lawyer can help you prove your case and determine liability by gathering evidence, such as:
- Surveillance video
- Accident reports
- Eyewitness statements
- Medical bills
- Patient records
- Expert testimony
Our team has helped thousands of clients nationwide win millions of dollars in car accident lawsuits. Our goal is to help achieve the best resolution for your case.
Seeking compensation for your injuries should not be an additional source of stress. Our team can help handle the legal burden so that you can focus on getting back on your feet. Our services will cost you nothing out of pocket and nothing up front. We only collect a fee if we win your case.
To learn more about how Ben Crump Law, PLLC, may be able to help you, call our offices at 800-959-1444 for your risk-free consultation.
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