The Cassidy Law Firm Blog

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

When Police Chases Turn Deadly

Who is liable if I am injured by a police vehicle or fleeing suspect?

Recently, a police chase ended in a deadly crash in New Jersey.  According to officials, police officers began pursuing a car down Tonnelle Avenue in Greenville.  The chase continued, with shots being fired by police near the Carlton Avenue intersection. The pursuit finally ended in front of a motel in the Heights when the suspect’s car hit a telephone pole and caught fire. Several officers were injured in the chase and at least one individual was seriously burned in the car accident.  Investigations reveal that the chase led to chaos, with several cars jumping up on curbs to avoid the high-speed vehicles and people on the street running for cover.  

Police Chases Can Endanger the Innocent

Police officers must at times take chase after a fleeing suspect, but anytime a police chase occurs, it presents risks to others.  Police chases across the nation have led to the deaths of several innocent individuals.  A study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration revealed that during a nine-year period, over 3000 people were killed in police chase related accidents.  One third of these victims were not the suspect being pursued.  This means that over 1,000 innocent people were killed during police chases.  

The cause of most police chase-related deaths is high speeds.  Suspects fleeing the police will often travel at high rates of speed in order to avoid capture.  They may engage in evasive maneuvers, such as quick turns or erratic driving.  Many police chases happen at night and suspects will often head towards busy roads in an attempt to conceal their vehicle.  All of these factors make for serious hazards for innocent drivers, passenger, and pedestrians.  

If you have been injured in a police chase, contact a licensed personal injury attorney.  Depending on the specific circumstances of the crash, the negligent suspect or police officer could be liable for your injuries.  Damages may include medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.

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