The past couple of weeks have seen two police chases result in death and injuries to innocent drivers. On May 23rd, a police chase ended with the death of an innocent driver and injuries to 3 children. Humble police were pursuing 3 people who had just stolen $2,600 worth of merchandise from a mall when the suspects ran a red light and collided with another car. The driver of that other car was killed and 3 children were taken to the hospital in serious condition. The driver and passengers of the fleeing car were arrested and the driver was charged with felony murder. Also, on Monday June 3rd a driver being pursued by police drove through a red light and struck another car resulting in the death of the fleeing driver and injuries to the people in the car that was hit.
In situations such as the May 23rd chase it will inevitably be argued that chasing suspects for stolen merchandise was not worth the life of the woman who was killed in the resulting accident. Victims of chases like this may feel they should be able to hold the police liable for their injuries especially in circumstances where the police car is directly involved in the crash. However, as long as the police follow their chase policy there is not much legal recourse that can be taken by the victims of the accident and their family members against the police.
The best chance of legal restitution for those injured in a police chase is to sue the fleeing driver for the injuries and damages the chase and any resulting wreck caused. It is almost a given that a driver fleeing police is driving recklessly, doing anything he or she can do to get away. While being caught up in a police chase is a very rare experience, you need to be prepared to act quickly to remove yourself from harm’s way if you find yourself in the middle of one. If you hear sirens or see a car driving erratically and/or quickly coming up behind you do whatever you can to get to the lane that is farthest away. Also if you observe a chase coming up from behind never try to get involved to slow down the suspect. Attempting to get in the way could lead to you becoming a target of the suspect or being involved in a wreck, and may also subject you to criminal penalties for interfering with the police’s ability to stop the suspect.
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed as a result of a police chase the attorneys at Ben Bronston and Associates are here to help. Our attorneys are experienced in helping the victims of auto wrecks navigate the legal system to get the justice and compensation they deserve for the harm caused to them.