In real life, a police chase does not entertain the way it does in movies and television. These chases, especially those at high speeds, can create dangerous driving environments for everyone on the road. Not surprisingly, police chases often end in collisions, with some innocent driver or bystander suffering serious injury as a result.
If you suffered an injury in a Portland accident caused by a police chase, a lawyer can help you assert your right to compensation to cover your medical bills, lost wages, and other losses.
A Portland accidents caused by police chase lawyer at Ben Crump Law, PLLC will investigate your case, establish the at-fault parties, and fight to get you the compensation you deserve. Call us today at (800) 598-7557 for a free consultation.
Police Chases Prove Deadlier Than People Realize
In 2015, USA Today published an investigative news piece underscoring the shocking prevalence of police chase fatalities in the U.S. According to the article, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) under-represented the number of motor-vehicle deaths resulting from police chases. Since 1979, USA Today discovered that the number of fatalities in such chases totaled more than 15,000.
The newspaper further highlighted the flawed manner in which police document high-speed chases and their collateral damage. In July of 2015, bystanders represented 25 percent of the people killed in high-speed police chases, while motor-vehicle passengers represented another 25 percent of these fatalities.
For a free legal consultation with a police chase accidents lawyer serving Portland, call (800) 598-7557
Portland Police Policy for Pursuit of Suspects
The City of Portland Police Bureau manual places importance on public safety during vehicle pursuits. Specifically, the manual states, “[Police] must balance the safety risks posed to the community against the benefit of capture before initiating and while continuing the pursuit.”
When the police decide to engage in a vehicle pursuit of a suspect, they must do so with the belief that the benefit of capturing the suspect outweighs the risk that the chase creates. When making this decision, law enforcement must take into consideration several factors, including:
- Risk the suspect poses to the community/seriousness of the offense
- The driving behavior of the suspect
- The condition of the suspect’s motor vehicle
- Whether passengers exist in the suspect’s vehicle
- Police officer’s knowledge of the geographic area, as well as the likelihood they can implement pursuit intervention strategies
- Nature of the area
- Whether pedestrians may or do occupy the area
- Environmental conditions of the road that might affect visibility and vehicle control
- Traffic (volume, congestion, direction)
The manual further directs property owners whose property Portland police damaged during a pursuit to contact the City of Portland’s Risk Management Office. When a chase causes injury to a person, however, the matter presents a more complicated recourse.
Portland Police Chase Accident Lawyer Near Me (800) 598-7557
Updated Directive Clarifies When Portland Police Can Engage in Pursuit
The City of Portland issued a directive effective August 26, 2017, further clarifying when police can implement pursuit intervention strategies and when the city deems it reasonable for police to engage in the pursuit of a suspect.
The Bureau of Police acknowledged the inherent risks in vehicle pursuits and underscored the importance of weighing this risk to the public vs the benefit of capturing a suspect. Under the new directive, Portland police officers face increased restrictions when engaging in a pursuit.
Per the updated policy:
- Law enforcement can engage in a vehicle pursuit when they believe the suspect committed a “felony person crime” or in situations where the fleeing suspect has given police a reason to believe they pose an immediate threat to the public.
- If police know the identity of the suspect, and they do not pose a threat to the public, police should apprehend the suspect later.
- Police cars carrying suspects, witnesses, complainants shall not engage in a vehicle chase.
- Cadets should not engage themselves in a vehicle pursuit.
- Police can use pursuit intervention strategies only when the Police Bureau approves this implementation. Examples of these strategies include boxing in, pursuit intervention technique, ramming, and stop/spike strips.
Types of Damages You May Recover
The amount of compensation you might receive from your Portland police chase injury depends on the unique facts of your case. To give you an idea of the types of damages that could possibly accompany this type of settlement or court award, consider the following:
- Surgeon’s fees and doctor’s fees
- Hospital stay
- Prescription medicine
- Physical rehabilitation/therapy
- Lost income and benefits
- Mobility devices
- Home modifications
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional stress
If your loved one suffered an injury in a police chase, and the injury ultimately caused your loved one’s death, you may be entitled to pursue a wrongful death action against the City of Portland. Our lawyers can explain your legal options in this matter and represent you with dignity.
A Portland Accidents Caused by Police Chase Lawyer Can Fight for You
On top of the physical and emotional weight of your injury, you do not need to add the financial strain of medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages that accompany the injury. You have rights, and you deserve to receive compensation.
Rather than fighting this battle alone, consider hiring a law firm familiar with this type of case.
Ben Crump Law, PLLC does not shy away from tough cases. Let us represent you and fight to recover a court award or settlement on your behalf. We charge you a legal fee only if and when we win your case. Call us today at (800) 598-7557 for a free case review.