What If You’re Hurt in a Police-Chase-Related Accident?
High-speed police chases may be good for local television ratings, but they can be deadly for innocent civilians. According to USA Today, over 5,000 bystanders and passengers have been killed and tens of thousands of people were injured in accidents caused by police pursuits since 1979.
Police pursuits simply aren’t worth the risk they pose to the public. But this doesn’t prevent police agencies across the country from conducting thousands of these needless car chases every year. In most situations, it would be best to avoid the chase altogether and arrest the suspect at a later time.
Pedestrians, drivers, and their passengers face unnecessary risks from senseless police chases. If you or a loved one was harmed due to overzealous law enforcement actions in Nebraska, you have the right to seek damages from police agencies involved in the pursuit.
Not Worth the Risk
According to the Washington Post, “high speed police chases are incredibly dangerous not just to the people involved in them, but to everyone who crosses their path.” There usually isn’t a sufficient justification for police pursuits.
The suspects in police pursuits are rarely dangerous felons. In fact, 91 percent of the time, high-speed pursuits begin with a simple traffic stop. These chases often get out of hand because police get caught up in the excitement of the moment, and no one in a position of authority is willing to put the brakes on their adrenaline-fueled adventure.
The Washington Post says, “police chases kill more people each year than floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, and lightning – combined.” This collateral damage is unacceptable. Research conducted by the United States Department of Justice reveals that over a 20-year period, one person was killed per day in pursuit-related crashes.
It’s essential for law enforcement officials to balance the degree of seriousness of the offense committed with the amount of risk posed to officers and citizens. When unsuspecting motorists get harmed, the results can be devastating.
Many police chases take place in urban areas where there is a considerable amount of foot traffic. That’s why pedestrians often fall victim when law enforcement officers engage in unwise pursuits. Studies demonstrate that almost three out of four people cannot determine which direction a siren is coming from when they first hear it. And the high speeds at which police and offenders are traveling mean that pedestrians who are struck are likely to be killed or seriously injured.
How a Personal Injury Attorney Helps Innocent Victims
If you were injured in an auto accident resulting from a high-speed police pursuit, call 911 right away and keep records of all the medical treatment you receive. Have an officer on the scene file a crash report within 10 days of the accident if there is over $1000 worth of damages.
Your personal injury attorney will investigate the accident to find out who’s liable for your injuries. This investigation will include the following types of information:
- Police reports
- Surveillance video
- Witness interviews
- Your medical records
- Accident scene photos
- Police department pursuit policies
- Law enforcement radio communications
- Expert witness testimony
Police departments have clearly defined policies regarding police pursuits. For example, it’s the policy of the Omaha Police Department to provide strict oversight. The entire chain of command is required to monitor pursuits to reduce the possibility that someone will be harmed.
Your Omaha personal injury attorney can file a claim to help you get the money you need to cover your medical bills and other expenses caused by the accident. If the officers deviated from their own rules, it will improve your chances of receiving a strong settlement.
Were You Harmed by Careless Police Officers?
If you or a loved one was hurt in a high-speed police pursuit, call (402) 505-8234 to schedule a FREE consultation today.
You may be eligible to receive the following types of compensation:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Reduced earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional anguish
- Physical therapy
- Assisted living care
At Bottlinger Law, L.L.C., you don’t owe us anything unless we win you a settlement.
Our legal team is ready to help. Please fill out the form below to set up a free consultation with the Bottlinger Law team.