Police pursuits endanger the officers and the vehicle that they chase, but they are also dangerous for bystanders such as pedestrians or other drivers. Many documented cases have police pursuits where either the police car or the car they chased hits another vehicle. Since these crashes can happen at high speeds, the damage and injuries are often extensive.
The danger to bystanders is well-documented. Many states have considered restricting the police’s ability to chase suspects. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), virtually every jurisdiction has enacted restrictions on police chases in an effort to reduce the number of injuries and fatalities. Unfortunately, police pursuits still cause many accidents.
If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a police pursuit, you could file a lawsuit against the police department to recover compensation for your expenses. You could benefit from the help of an accidents caused by police chase lawyer to file your lawsuit. Contact Ben Crump Law, PLLC, at 800-959-1444 for a free consultation on your case with a team member.
Understanding Accidents Caused by Police Chase
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 2.5 million Americans visited emergency rooms after car accidents in 2012. A significant number of those accidents involved speeding. When you add to that mix a driver who desperately wants to avoid the police and police officers desperately trying to catch up, you have a high probability that the pursuit will end in an accident. There are several reasons for this result, including:
- Long reaction times: Police pursuits can reach more than 100 mph. As speed increases, the amount of time that drivers have to react decreases, leaving them with not enough time to respond to other drivers on the road to keep everyone safe. Eventually, one of the drivers will likely make a mistake and cause an accident.
- Stress on car parts: Traveling at high speeds and performing difficult maneuvers to avoid the police can put a lot of pressure on vehicles. Different parts can wear out during a chase. For example, tires frequently blow during high-speed pursuits because they heat up, and the amount of stress placed on them tears tires apart.
- Aggressive driving: People who drive too aggressively, such as cutting off other cars or swerving excessively, are likely to cause an accident. They can lose control of their vehicle during maneuvers or misjudge a distance and hit another car. In some cases, they intentionally cause these accidents as a way of trying to block or evade the police.
The danger to pedestrians and bystanders is so great that many officers and police departments will limit pursuits to unpopulated areas or cut them short to protect other drivers. The chances of causing an accident are too high to pursue most runaway drivers effectively.
Short-Term Impact of Accidents Caused by Police Chases
In the short term, accidents caused by police chases can leave you with severe injuries and hefty expenses. You likely will need emergency medical care and ongoing treatment to deal with your injuries. Your insurance might help with these expenses, but the amount of assistance you will get depends mostly on your coverage. It is essential to get the care that you need. If you do not, you could develop another condition that is more serious or life-threatening.
You might also have to deal with repairs to your car. Depending on how much damage your car suffered, your insurance company might have you replace your car altogether. This process can prove challenging since insurance companies pay the depreciated value of your vehicle. This amount is rarely enough to pay off the vehicle and buy a new one.
Many people struggle with these problems after an accident, and it is one of the reasons they file a lawsuit. An accidents caused by police chase lawyer can assist you with filing your claim. Call Ben Crump Law, PLLC, today to review your case with a team member.
Long-Term Impacts of Accidents Caused by Police Chases
The long-term impacts of a car accident caused by a police chase are more serious. Many people go into financial debt to pay for the medical care and car repairs they need. You might also suffer excruciating physical pain and emotional trauma from your injuries.
Severe injuries can also keep you out of work for an extended period, cutting into the amount of money that you can earn. Your injuries could cost you your job or make it difficult to return to work in any capacity, which is especially true if you have developed a disability because of the accident.
The financial stress and work-related problems can take years to resolve. Recovering compensation in a lawsuit can shorten this period or eliminate it by providing you a significant sum to pay off your expenses.
Severity of Injuries
The injuries caused in a police pursuit accident vary based on the situation. However, many of these accidents result in severe injuries. Broken bones, brain damage, and disabilities are all possible outcomes. In the most severe cases, victims in these accidents have died. The severity of injuries and the chance of death for bystanders has pushed many departments and state lawmakers to find ways of restricting an officer’s ability to chase suspects at high speeds.
Seeking Legal Action
If you suffered injuries in a high-speed chase accident, you could take legal action against the officer or the department. However, some states have laws regarding sovereign immunity, and police pursuit restrictions differ in each jurisdiction. Sovereign immunity is a legal principle that offers protection for government agencies against liability. Many states have removed sovereign immunity clauses from their personal injury statutes, but you might encounter this issue in some localities when filing your claim. An accidents caused by police chase lawyer can advise if you have a case.
Contact a Lawyer to Discuss Your Case
If you or a loved one suffered injuries during a police pursuit, you might take legal action to recover compensation for your expenses. You could discuss your case with an accidents caused by police chase lawyer.
Call Ben Crump Law, PLLC, today at 800-959-1444 for a free consultation with a team member.