In 2012, 351 people died as a result of pursuit-related crashes involving state and local law enforcement, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics. If you were involved in an accident caused by a police chase, you may want to know how to proceed with claiming compensation for any injuries suffered.
The legislation concerning damages with public entities like law enforcement can be complex, and you deserve to focus on your health and recovery after an accident. You can call Ben Crump Law, PLLC for help with Phoenix accidents caused by a police chase. We can offer you a free consultation to help you determine your legal rights. Call us at (800) 598-7557.
Police Pursuits in Arizona
In the United States, more than 5,000 innocent bystanders and passengers have died as a result of police chases between 1979 and 2013, according to USA Today. Nearly half of the people who died were non-violating third-parties who were not directly involved in the chase. In most cases, the absconding drivers’ negligence causes collisions.
In cases where victims survive with injuries or losses, they are not likely to seek compensation for their injuries from the fleeing suspect. Instead, the duty of care usually falls on the police, who are trained to handle circumstances that may result in a vehicle pursuit.
Causes for Police Pursuits
Law enforcement is an entity with public protection in mind, so there are multiple factors for officers to consider before initiating a vehicle pursuit. Of course, pursuits can end in heroic capturing of serious criminals, but they can also end in unnecessary damage to the community, including lost lives. Officers must weigh the risks, complications, and benefits before deciding to pursue a criminal in such an active way. Of course, Arizona law holds that anyone stopped by the police must cooperate. However, being stopped by the police and fleeing the scene is not necessarily an adequate cause for a vehicle pursuit in itself. According to the Phoenix Police Department, drivers are pulled over routinely for the following reasons:
- Traffic violations: Failing to stop at a red light or stop sign, speeding driving without using signals, or making an illegal turn may warrant a police stop.
- Fitting a Suspect Description: Police may recognize a stolen vehicle, mismatched or expired license plates, or the physical attributes of a driver that are connected with a crime.
- Crime Witness: If police notice you at the scene of a crime, they may stop you to get more information on what happened.
- Distress: If you appear to be in distress, injured, or in need of help, the police may stop and investigate to find out what happened.
Of course, the list above is not exhaustive of the reasons someone may be stopped by police. Cooperating with police in itself is not an admission of guilt, even when a ticket is issued; however, people often flee police stops in order to evade the consequences of more serious crimes.
This is the moment when officers are responsible for deciding whether or not to pursue a victim. If you were injured from an accident caused by a police chase, a lawyer can further investigate to see if the officer acted with negligence.
For a free legal consultation with a police chase accidents lawyer serving Phoenix, call (800) 598-7557
Legal Help for Police Chase Accidents
You can work with the lawyers at Ben Crump Law, PLLC to explore your legal options for recovering compensation. New policies add some clarity that can help victims determine liability after an accident, but navigating the legal process can still be complicated.
Pursuit Reform in Arizona
Arizona Police pursuit operations underwent changes in 2017. That was when the Arizona Department of Public Safety made it the collective responsibility of law enforcement to determine when to engage in a pursuit and to communicate about all pursuits over the radio.
A police chase accident lawyer in Phoenix can consider all of the unique circumstances of your case. It is important to fully understand the events that led to the pursuit and whether police were justified in initiating the pursuit.
Liability in a Police Pursuit
Changes in the law do not guarantee that all victims of police pursuits will receive fair compensation upon request. While the changes are intended to hold police accountable, some victims find themselves filing lawsuits in order to seek fair recovery for their losses.
In Phoenix, accidents caused by police chases can result in a daunting legal pursuit. The lawyers at Ben Crump Law, PLLC can handle your case and work so that you suffer no further losses as a result of your accident.
Phoenix Police Chase Accident Lawyer Near Me (800) 598-7557
Get Help After a Police Chase Accident
When law enforcement engages in dangerous pursuits, they can put the public safety of innocent people at risk. A lawyer can guide you through the process of protecting and defending your rights.
Holding law enforcement accountable for following the law can be discouraging, but working with the lawyers at Ben Crump Law, PLLC can alleviate you of the extra stress of building a legal case.
Work toward a fair recovery when you contact our offices and request to work with a lawyer for Phoenix accidents caused by police chases. Call Ben Crump Law, PLLC today at (800) 598-7557.