Car accidents can be frightening experiences. However, getting involved in a police chase accident through no fault of your own can result in severe injuries and mental trauma. Accidents that involve high-speed chases can also cause fatalities.
If you have suffered injuries and material damages in a police chase accident in Sacramento, or your loved one has died in such an accident, you might be able to receive compensation. If you are interested in legal representation, call your Sacramento accidents caused by police chase lawyer, Ben Crump Law, PLLC, today at 800-959-1444 to determine if you have a case.
Injuries in Police Chase Accidents
According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, from 1996 to 2015, an average of 355 people died every year in an accident involving a police chase, and many more were seriously injured. The official data may be understating the problem, according to USA Today, which writes that some police accident reports do not state whether an accident happened after a chase took place.
Many bystanders become victims of chase-related accidents, as well as those who are eluding and fleeing from the police. According to USA Today’s analysis, bystanders and passengers in cars that were involved in chases make up almost 50% of all people who died in police pursuits from 1979 to 2013.
High-speed police chases can result in fatalities as well as horrific injuries, and not only for car occupants. Pedestrians or cyclists can fare even worse when they are struck during a high-speed police chase. Victims can suffer injuries such as traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, loss of limbs, and severe burns, to name just a few.
If you have suffered serious injuries from a recent police chase accident, you may be able to pursue legal action. A lawyer may be able to help you navigate the process, save you time, and ensure you are on the right track to pursuing legal action.
For a free legal consultation with a police chase accidents lawyer serving Sacramento, call 800-959-1444
Getting Compensation for Your Damages
You might think that obtaining compensation for your injuries and financial losses in an accident where you just happened to be a bystander should be relatively straightforward. Unfortunately, when it comes to police chase accidents, this is not necessarily the case. First, you will need to establish who is liable for your damages.
A suspect in a police chase is trying to get away from law enforcement. Therefore, they may be taking risks to evade the officers, such as driving at excessive speeds, running red lights, or displaying other reckless driving behaviors.
The suspect most likely shows no regard for other road users in that moment. This person could be liable for your medical bills and other damages if they get into an accident with your vehicle and cause injuries or property damage. They could also be liable for any injuries caused if you were a bystander, cyclist, or other road user involved in the accident.
Although a police officer may be responsible for your accident and injuries, you may not be able to hold them liable if the chase was warranted and part of their duties. However, you may be able to hold a police officer to account in some instances, for example, when a police chase was entirely unwarranted.
However, it can be extremely tricky to hold law enforcement officers accountable. Ordinarily, police officers may not be held liable for bodily injury or property damage caused during a police chase, per California Vehicle Code §17004.7 b 1(d).
You may be able to sue the police department or city under California Vehicle Code § 17001 if you can prove the police officer acted without due regard in your case. While it is certainly possible to sue law enforcement, it is no easy task.
Police chase accidents can be complicated. Since it takes knowledge of the law to hold the liable party to account for your injuries or loss of your loved one’s life, having a Sacramento police chase accident lawyer by your side can help you with your case.
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Compensation May Be Available
If you can hold the liable party to account successfully in a personal injury lawsuit, you could recover compensation such as:
- Medical expenses
- Lost income
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of a limb
- Loss of a sense
You could also receive other or additional compensation.
If your loved one has died after a police chase accident, you also could pursue filing a wrongful death lawsuit. A wrongful death lawsuit could lead to compensation that covers:
- Medical costs
- Lost wages and benefits from the decedent
- Pain and suffering of the decedent
- Funeral costs
- Loss of companionship
If you would like to discuss compensation as it relates to the chase accident you were involved in, you can consult with a Sacramento accidents caused by police chase lawyer who can advise you on your next steps.
California Statute of Limitations on Police Chases Accidents
Usually, a person has two years to file a legal action in an accident that results in personal injury, but that deadline changes when a government agency or government employee is involved.
While law enforcement might be liable for the accident that left you injured, it is possible that you might not be able to hold them responsible if it is established that the police chase was part of their governmental duties.
If your police chase accident happened in California, you must file a claim with the government agency involved in your accident within six months of the date of injury, according to the California Government Code § 911.2, which governs these kinds of cases. The government agency then has 45 days to respond to your claim and can either accept it or reject it.
This legal process can be complicated, so contacting an attorney is an option you can explore. Call Ben Crump Law, PLLC, today at 800-959-1444 to schedule a free consultation so that we can review your accident details and help you as you consider what steps you want to take.
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We Can Fight for You
If you are a bystander or car driver who has suffered injuries in a police chase accident, you may now be facing an uphill battle to hold accountable those who are responsible.
You do not have to struggle with this on your own. We can help you negotiate with insurance companies and fight for justice and compensation in court. Your Sacramento accidents caused by police chase lawyer can handle tough claims and help you gather the evidence and witness statements required to prove your case.
We charge you no attorney’s fees upfront, so you do not have to worry about out-of-pocket costs. Call Ben Crump Law, PLLC, today and find out whether you have a case and could receive compensation: 800-959-1444.