Police chases can get extremely dangerous and can result in serious damage either to people or property. Deaths and accidents resulting from car accidents are more common than many people think, and it’s estimated that around 420 people every year are fatally injured as a result, and the majority of these people are bystanders. And if you are one of these victims, know that you could have recourse but only in certain situations. Let’s take a look at when you could be eligible for compensation after being injured as a result of a police chase and what you should do to get it.
When Are the Police Liable?
Police departments have protections against lawsuits for damage caused by police chases, and this should be expected. Police chases are needed, and police departments cannot be sued for doing their jobs.
But you can and should get compensation if gross negligence was shown. If it can be demonstrated that the police department or officer was reckless in their pursuit, then you may have a case. You may also have a case if you find out that the chase was illegal or unauthorized.
You should know, however, that proving negligence can be very difficult in these kinds of cases as you’ll have to prove that the split reactions of the officer were acts of negligence. This is why you will need to work with an expert team who is familiar with these kinds of cases and have a track record for success.
When is the Criminal Liable?
What if it was demonstrated that the suspect is the one that caused the damage? In this case, you won’t be able to sue the police, but you may be able to sue the suspect if it can be demonstrated that they acted negligently.
Another thing you could do is get compensation through their insurance company if they are insured. If they aren’t insured, then you could be able to seek compensation through your own underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage if they have it in their policy.
What About the Suspect?
But what if you were the suspect and got injured? Well, we’re sorry to tell you that you may have little to no recourse against the police. The police have a greater duty of care to the public than suspects so you’ll need to have a very solid case for you to get compensation. You’ll have to demonstrate that the officer went against procedures or that they acted illegally to get compensation in most cases.
What Should You Do if You Think You Have a Case?
If you think you have a valid case, you’ll need to get as much information on the scene as possible. This means images of the scene, images of your vehicle and injuries, and accounts from other people involved in the case. You also need to get medical assistance as soon as possible and follow through with instructions. This will be your most solid proof of injury.
You’ll then need to find a solid legal team to represent you. We suggest you check out this law firm that specializes in police chases. Very few firms have the kind of expertise needed to work in these cases, so make sure that your team has a verifiable track record for winning these kinds of cases. Also, check the type of settlements or judgments they were able to get for their clients.
Police chases can have disastrous consequences, and if you have suffered damage from one as a bystander, you could have recourse. Look at the rules where you live and don’t hesitate to seek legal counsel if you think you have a case on your hands.