Police officers must often make quick decisions on the job, such as pursuing a fleeing suspect. The dangers of a police chase are real, and sadly, innocent bystanders can suffer. If you or a loved one were hurt in a car accident caused by a police chase, call a lawyer today.
The police have a duty to consider the hazards of chasing a suspect by car. Even if they believe they can catch the suspect, officers must keep the public’s safety in mind. This is a delicate balance that can lead to severe injuries or deaths.
Accidents stemming from police chases can be incredibly chaotic and traumatic. Victims of such accidents should promptly seek the advice of an Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer like John Foy and Associates.
Injuries from Police Chase Accidents
Police officers receive training to handle fleeing criminals and suspects. Each police department will have different policies for handling pursuits. Either way, officers should use their best practices and judgments to keep the public safe.
Unfortunately, there is always a chance of injuries when a police chase happens. Even when officers corner a suspect, the suspect could act in a way that harms others on foot. A police chase situation can lead to injuries like:
- Broken bones
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Spinal cord injuries
- Gunshot wounds
- Internal organ damage
- Injuries that result in death
Police chase injuries can also have emotional effects. A victim might have to live with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, or other traumas.
Pursuits put the public in at least a little danger. Officers have a responsibility to promote safety as much as possible. After your accident, it’s important to investigate what exactly happened.
Of course, suspects play a huge role in police chase injuries. A suspect might choose to flee from officers during a police stop. They’re often trying to avoid penalties for criminal behavior, such as drunk driving or drug possession.
Get the strong arm
Damages to Claim After Police Chase Injuries
After injuries from a police chase, you might be eligible for financial compensation. However, you will first need to prove who was at fault. The liability party is usually either the suspect that started the chase or the police department.
The liable party in an accident is responsible for the damages. Your personal injury damages might include:
- Medical costs
- Lost income
- Lost earning opportunity
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
- Vehicle repair costs
If you lost a loved one because of a police chase, you could have a wrongful death claim. Your claim would seek compensation for:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of companionship
- Funeral costs
- Burial expenses
The damages from a police chase accident can be incredibly great. If you were injured as an innocent bystander, you shouldn’t have to pay for the costs. You did not cause your injuries and damages.
Talk to a car accident caused by police chase lawyer about your losses. They can calculate all of your costs while building your injury claim. Your lawyer will also handle the legal side of things and determine who is at fault.
The aftermath of a police chase accident can be filled with uncertainty. For comprehensive guidance and legal support, the Personal Injury Attorneys in Atlanta at John Foy and Associates are ready to assist.
Georgia Police Pursuit Laws
Under Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA) §40-6-6, the police can take individual liberties in the “pursuit of an actual or suspected violator of the law.” For example, the officer can:
- Run a red light or stop sign, only after slowing down to be safe
- Go over the maximum speed limit as long as they don’t “endanger life or property”
- Disregard movement- and turning-related regulations
The policies on police chases vary by department. For example, the city of Atlanta started a no-chase policy in 2020. But other cities still allow pursuits under certain circumstances.
After your accident, talk to a lawyer who knows about the policies in your area. If a police officer misbehaved, your lawyer can uncover any negligence. Bringing a case against a police department takes a lot of work, so don’t wait to discuss it with an attorney.
Holding the Police Chase Suspect Responsible
When a suspect is at fault, the legal side of things is complicated. For example, maybe the suspect took someone’s car before starting the chase. Many insurance policies won’t cover accidents involving a stolen vehicle.
Plus, suspects are often uninsured or underinsured. If a driver doesn’t have insurance coverage, you won’t be able to file a claim for compensation. You can sue the suspect, but they might not have much to their name.
If your own insurance includes uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage, that can help cover your damages. However, you could have more options than you think. Talk to a lawyer today to get the help you deserve.
Holding a Police Department Responsible
Police officers must follow all policies while on duty. That includes following procedure during a police chase. A police department is usually not liable unless an officer specifically violated regulations.
If the police chase that caused your accident was possibly unjust, you might have a case. Don’t assume you won’t without speaking to a police chase lawyer. Your lawyer can examine the facts for you.
Get Help from a Police Chase Accident Lawyer Today
If you suffered injuries in a car accident caused by a police chase, you have legal rights. You’ll need to determine who is liable for your injuries. If you didn’t cause your injuries, you shouldn’t have to pay for the costs.
John Foy & Associates can handle complicated cases like this. With over 20 years of experience, we can help determine your best legal options and gather key evidence. Plus, we won’t charge you a thing unless we win your case.
Contact us today for a free, no-risk consultation. Call us at (404) 400-4000 or contact us online. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to take your call.