When police officers embark on a chase, the vehicles in pursuit and being pursued travel at high speeds. Sometimes, the rules of the road go out the window as a suspect tries to evade capture and as law enforcement attempts to stop the suspect before they pose any greater danger to society.
In the swirl of chaos, accidents can and do occur, occasionally injuring innocent drivers on the roadway or even pedestrians.
If you suffered an injury in a St. Louis police chase, please know that the law gives you the right to recover compensation for your injury-related damages. An insurance settlement or jury award could pay for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses.
Call a St. Louis accidents caused by police chase lawyer at Ben Crump Law, PLLC. We will investigate your case, identify the at-fault parties, and fight to recover your damages. Call us today at (800) 598-7557 for a free case review.
Injuries and Fatalities from Police Chases
It may sound like the stuff of movies, but high-speed police chases happen in St. Louis and they present a risk of injury and death to anyone on the road.
KMOV News 4 reported in February 2020 that an 18-year-old tried to evade St. Louis police and led them on a high-speed chase through St. Louis, down I-270, reaching speeds of 120 to 130 miles per hour. After getting off the highway, they drove into oncoming traffic, ran a red light, and collided with another vehicle, causing it to flip multiple times. The vehicle also ran into another vehicle stopped at a red light. The injured driver thankfully survived and was taken to the hospital with a fractured pelvis and a broken leg.
The Associated Press reported in October 2017 that a man suffered serious injuries after an accident resulting from a police chase in a St. Louis suburb. The man filed a lawsuit against the City of St. Ann and its police department. He alleged that the police officers’ negligence caused his injuries.
He emerged from the accident with cracked ribs, a broken spine and ankle, and a lacerated liver.
According to AP, the police department was to begin using new GPS tracking technology that would cut the number of police chases by allowing officers to monitor a suspect’s vehicle remotely, without endangering others in a high-speed pursuit.
For a free legal consultation with a st louis lawyer serving St. Louis, call 800-598-7557
Missouri Laws Cap Damages
Missouri state law places a $335,118 (per person) cap on damages that an individual can collect from municipalities, like police departments and cities, as evidenced in Hodges v. City of St. Louis.
This cap means that, even if a jury were to award you several million dollars, as they did in the case of a police chase causing the death of a St. Louis mother of two, you could receive only a fraction of this award. In this case, which was reported in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the jury awarded the plaintiff $3.1 million after police allegedly struck the defendant driver’s vehicle during the pursuit, causing the defendant driver to crash into the plaintiff’s car.
Missouri law caps damages against municipalities presumably to spare taxpayers the financial burden of a municipality’s negligence. Yet, this cap may be difficult to swallow for seriously injured plaintiffs or those who lost a loved one due to someone’s negligence in a high-speed chase.
Throughout the U.S., more than 15,000 fatalities could have resulted from police chases since 1979, according to the 2015 journalistic investigation of the topic by USA Today. This number significantly exceeds that which the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) had earlier reported.
St. Louis St Louis Lawyer Near Me 800-598-7557
The Complexity of Missouri Government Lawsuits
The state of Missouri gives you the right to file a personal injury claim against a St. Louis police department or other municipality connected with your injuries after a police chase. However, you must be careful to follow a set of special rules that include specific, stringent deadlines and a complex process. Failure to abide by these rules can result in your being barred from filing your claim.
If your police-chase accident involves a county, you must put the county on notice. This involves reaching out to the county for details about their claim-filing process. The same holds true for suing any Missouri government entity. You must give special notice, and you must do so with an extremely specific time period, which can run between 30 days and 180 days from the time of your incident.
With so much at stake, many victims of St. Louis police-chase accidents seek the assistance of a St. Louis accidents caused by police chase lawyer who knows the particular rules, procedures, and deadlines associated with filing a claim against a St. Louis police department or other municipality. Contact Ben Crump Law, PLLC today for a free consultation.
Recoverable Damages from a St. Louis Police Chase Accident
The damages you might recover from your police chase accident injuries depend on the nature and severity of your injuries, as well as how they have affected you and will impact you in the future.
Types of damages a jury might consider in your case include economic (quantifiable) and non-economic.
Some examples of damages commonly connected with car accident injuries include:
- Medical expenses (past and future)
- Emergency transportation
- Prescription medications
- Lost wages and benefits
- Diminished future potential earnings
- Replacement services
- Mobility devices
- Home modifications
- Pain and suffering
Additional types of damages might apply to your case. Your lawyer can tell you more specifics when they hear the details of your injuries.
If you lost a loved one in a police-chase accident, consider that, under certain circumstances, you have the right to pursue a wrongful death action. Again, your lawyer can review your case, inform you of your legal options, and represent you in this action.
A St. Louis Accidents Caused by Police Chase Lawyer Can Fight for You
You deserve to receive compensation for the injuries you receive when a high-speed police chase ends in an accident.
Let our legal team fight for your right to recover damages. We work on a contingency fee, meaning you pay us only if our St. Louis accidents caused by police chase lawyer wins you an insurance settlement or court award.
Remember, we do not shy away from tough cases.
Call Ben Crump Law, PLLC today at (800) 598-7557 for a free case review.