When police officers believe that drivers may be breaking the law, they often pursue them in high-speed chases that can be dangerous for everyone involved. These chases can lead to dangerous situations for the occupants of the fleeing vehicle, the drivers and passengers in other vehicles not involved in the chase, and nearby pedestrians. If you or a loved one suffered injuries as a result of a police chase, you might want to consult with a Sarasota accidents caused by police chase lawyer.
Depending on the circumstances that led to your injuries, you might be eligible to receive compensation for the injuries that you have suffered. Call (800) 598-7557 today and learn more about your legal rights to compensation from Ben Crump Law, PLLC.
Police Chase Accidents
A 2017 Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) study considered data from state and local police pursuits in 2012. In that study, researchers found that about 68,000 police vehicle pursuits occurred in 2012. Another key finding of this study was that from 1996 to 2015, about one person died per day every year from involvement in a police pursuit.
Various people can be at risk for injuries in a police pursuit. Passengers in the fleeing vehicle, drivers and passengers of nearby vehicles not involved in the chase, and pedestrians all can suffer injuries when a high-speed police chase goes awry.
Either the driver of the police car or the fleeing vehicle can easily lose control and strike other vehicles or pedestrians. On the whole, police chases are dangerous not only for their participants, but also for the innocent bystanders who often suffer injuries in these incidents, some of which are fatal.
For a free legal consultation with a police chase accidents lawyer serving Sarasota, call (800) 598-7557
Getting Compensation After Police Chase Accidents
You might be entitled to compensation through an insurance company payout.
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Your PIP Insurance Policy
One source of compensation if you are injured in a police chase is your personal injury protection (PIP) insurance policy. Florida has a no-fault insurance law that requires all motorists to carry a minimum of $10,000 of PIP insurance, according to Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV).
This policy provides coverage for up to 80% of any medical expenses related to injuries that you suffer in a car accident. The maximum payout is $10,000, unless you have chosen to carry additional PIP coverage. You may receive a smaller amount of compensation, however, if your injuries did not require you to seek emergency medical treatment.
PIP insurance also may compensate those who have lost loved ones to a police chase. Your PIP insurance policy can provide you with a death benefit of $5,000 in this situation.
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Property Damage Liability Policy of the Responsible Driver
If the driver who is responsible for causing your injuries in a police chase has motor vehicle insurance as required by law, then you can make a claim against the property damage liability (PDL) policy of the driver.
This policy allows a payout of up to $10,000 in property damages, such as the expenses to repair your vehicle damaged in the crash. A Sarasota accidents caused by police chase lawyer can walk you through the mechanics of filing a PDL insurance claim and submitting the appropriate documentation to the insurance company. Call Ben Crump Law, PLLC today for help.
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Personal Injury Lawsuits and Police Chases
Various parties can be liable if you or a family member suffer injuries as the result of a police chase, whether you are directly involved in the chase or not. Potentially liable parties in police chases that result in accidents can include:
- The driver of the fleeing vehicle
- The driver of the police vehicle
- The police department or government entity, such as a state, city, or local government unit
If the negligent or reckless actions of either or both drivers led to the accident that caused your injuries, you might be eligible to seek compensation for the costs of those injuries, including medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
If you suffer permanent impairment as a result of the crash, you may be able to get additional damages to compensate you for your loss of quality of life, and perhaps your inability to return to work in the future.
Similarly, if a police chase results in a fatality, these same parties could be potentially liable in a wrongful death claim. The executor or administrator of the estate of the deceased can file a wrongful death action on behalf of selected surviving immediate family members.
Time Limits for Police Chase Accident Claims
Florida Statutes § 95.11 generally allows injury victims of police chase accidents to file personal injury claims no longer than four years from the date of their accidents. However, there are some exceptions to this rule, such as for people who are incapacitated.
Furthermore, if you intend to file a lawsuit against a governmental entity, such as a law enforcement agency, you must comply with additional requirements. Under Florida Statutes § 768.28, if you wish to sue the police, for example, you must give notice to the appropriate state agency no less than three years from the date of your accident. Since these requirements can vary widely from one case to the next, you might want to get legal advice as quickly as possible following your accident.
No matter how justified a police chase may be, all drivers must follow the law, including police officers. When the negligence of drivers in a high-speed police chase causes an accident that injures others, they may be liable for the resulting injuries. Seeking out a Sarasota accidents caused by police chase lawyer might enable you to better understand your legal rights in the aftermath of a devastating accident.
When you are unsure of your rights to compensation following a police chase accident, you can rely on the attorneys and staff at Ben Crump Law, PLLC to answer your questions. Together, you can work to determine the best option for you and your family. Call (800) 598-7557 to speak with the office staff about your case today.
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