When suspects fleeing from law enforcement experience a high-speed chase or any kind of pursuit, they often fail to consider the safety of others around them, resulting in injuries to bystanders or other motorists.
In other cases, police officers fail to follow their own internal guidelines and continue to pursue a suspect when their procedures indicate that they should do otherwise in order to mitigate the risk to innocent lives. Whatever the cause, in many cases, victims of accidents caused by police chases feel overwhelmed and uncertain of who has a legal responsibility to compensate them for their injuries and losses.
Police chase accidents are a unique experience and can result in challenging and complex applications of the law in order to receive justice for a victim. Consider hiring an Oklahoma City accidents caused by police chase lawyer from Ben Crump Law, PLLC at (800) 598-7557 to help you better understand all of your legal options.
When Suspects Are Responsible for Accidents Caused by Police Chases
If law enforcement has a legal right and even a moral and legal obligation to pursue a suspect, there is often a risk to the public and innocent bystanders and motorists. Police officers often have to make split-second decisions, and if a suspect remains dangerous to the public, they have an obligation to pursue the suspect in an attempt to arrest and charge them for the public good.
In these cases, suspects continue to flee from police, and in many cases, do so in a reckless or hazardous way. If a suspect has a complete disregard for public safety, they may remain liable for any injuries or losses suffered by innocent victims caught in the path of the police chase.
Suspects involved in police chases may remain legally liable when the following occurs:
- The suspect’s vehicle collides with another vehicle, bicyclist, or pedestrian in or near the roadway
- The suspect causes property damage to another vehicle or another type of property
It may prove difficult to file a complaint against a suspect, and your right to receive compensation will largely depend on whether or not they carry insurance and if police catch them in the chase.
For a free legal consultation with a police chase accidents lawyer serving Oklahoma City, call (800) 598-7557
When Police Officers Are Responsible for Accidents Caused by Police Chases
Again, police officers must make instantaneous decisions regarding whether or not to pursue a suspect that can have life-altering consequences for innocent bystanders. In many cases, it remains difficult to legally prove that a police officer made a negligent decision to actively pursue a suspect or drove a vehicle recklessly during that pursuit.
However, police officers do not have complete immunity from liability with respect to those innocent persons that suffer injuries or losses as a result of their negligent decision to pursue a suspect. Some of the examples of when a police officer may remain liable for an innocent person’s injuries and losses related to a police chase can include the following:
- Fail to follow internal guidelines established by the police department regarding when to chase and follow a suspect
- Making the decision to pursue and chase a suspect where the risk to public safety greatly outweighs the possibility of catching the suspect, or the reward (safety to the public)
- Fail to follow a supervisor’s guidance to either not pursue a suspect or stop the pursuit of a suspect during a police chase
- Fire weapons outside of a vehicle, causing injury or death to an innocent motorist or bystander
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How to File a Complaint Against the Oklahoma City Police Department
Filing a complaint against the Oklahoma City Police Department can prove challenging and frustrating. While there are policies in place that allow citizens to file a complaint against a police officer—like this one from the Oklahoma City Police Department—many victims may not receive their full and fair compensation if they choose to only pursue justice through this type of complaint alone.
In many cases, the police department has plenty of resources at their disposal to argue against the complaint or allegation that a police officer acted in a negligent way during a police chase. If you suffered any kind of injuries or losses as a result of a police chase, consider contacting our legal team to learn more about how an Oklahoma City accidents caused by police chase lawyer at Ben Crump Law, PLLC can help you determine if you have a valid basis to build a case against the Oklahoma City PD.
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Types of Injuries Suffered as a Result of Police Chases
While every police chase will have its own set of facts and circumstances, many injuries suffered by victims of police chases are extremely serious and can even lead to death. While almost every single jurisdiction in the United States has created restrictions regarding the ability of police officers to chase and pursue suspects, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), police chases can still result in these types of severe injuries:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Internal organ damage
- Internal bleeding
- Broken bones
- Nerve damage
- Soft tissue damage
- Gunshot wounds
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Learn More in a Free Consultation with an Oklahoma City Accidents Caused by Police Chase Lawyer
The involvement in a police chase as an innocent bystander or motorist is nothing short of terrifying. Many victims suffer gunshot wounds, injuries related to catastrophic car accidents, and even death.
If you suffered any kind of injuries related to an accident caused by a police chase in Oklahoma City, you might have the right to receive compensation for all of your economic and non-economic losses. Filing a complaint against a police department is legally different and much more complex than a simple passenger vehicle accident case.
Learn more about how to build a strong legal case to receive compensation for your injuries and losses by contacting our legal team at Ben Crump Law, PLLC at (800) 598-7557, and making an appointment for a free consultation with an accidents caused by police chase lawyer today.
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