The pursuit of a suspect can sometimes turn into a police chase in Sandy Springs. Unless absolutely necessary, officers should be careful to avoid actions that could endanger innocent people. However, police chases still happen, and they can cause a lot of damage when they do.
Police chases can put officers, suspects, and innocent bystanders at risk. If a police chase caused your car accident, you have rights. You shouldn’t have to pay for a crash that was not your fault—and a Sandy Springs police chase accident lawyer can help.
Contact John Foy & Associates to discuss your compensation options. Police chase crashes are complicated, and each situation is different. To learn more during a free consultation, call (404) 400-4000, or contact us online.
Why Police Chase Accidents Happen
According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), over 350 people died in police chase-related accidents in 2012. From 1996 and 2015, an average of one person per day was killed in police chase accidents. The numbers were high enough to lead Atlanta police to start a “zero-chase” policy in 2020.
There are several reasons injuries and deaths are common in police chases. Here are some of the most frequent causes.
A police suspect is focused on avoiding being caught by the officer. They will do whatever it takes to get away. This includes aggressive driving actions like:
- Excessive speeding
- Swerving between lanes
- Running red lights or stop signs
- Driving the wrong way on the road
It’s easy for someone to lose control while driving this way. In fact, too many police chase accidents end with the suspect losing control. Their vehicle might roll over, swerve off the road, or cause some such other serious accident.
Some suspects will intentionally cause damage during a pursuit. And this damage can cause harm to other drivers on the road, including you.
Police chases often reach very high speeds—as much as 100 mph or more. When someone is traveling that fast, it’s impossible to be safe. At that point, it’s just a waiting game until something bad happens.
Officers can exceed the speed limit while chasing a suspect, but they still have a duty to be careful. If the police are not careful, they can also cause an accident while pursuing a suspect.
Passenger vehicles are not built to take on high-speed chases. When a suspect flees, they put a lot of strain on their car. Their vehicle can break down or give out during the pursuit. This could cause an accident and also leave debris behind, harming others on the road.
Drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians are all at risk during a police chase. If you were injured during one of these chases, you have rights. Talk to a lawyer about how you can seek compensation for your costs.
Injuries from Police Chase Accidents
Injuries vary depending on the accident. However, police chase crashes are some of the most severe accidents a person can find themselves in. Victims can suffer injuries like:
- Broken bones
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Spinal cord injuries
- Cuts and bruises
- Strain and sprains
- Whiplash and other neck injuries
Tragically, severe accidents can result in death. If you lost a loved one in this type of accident, talk to a lawyer. You may have a wrongful death case.
Car accidents caused by police chases are complicated. But you have options available to you if you or a loved one were the victim of such a chase.
Damages from Car Accidents Caused by Police Chases
Many accident victims need expensive medical care and time to heal. Some injuries can cause temporary or permanent disabilities. If the victim cannot work, they need to be compensated for the income they otherwise would have earned and need to survive.
A police chase accident can cause damages like:
- Doctor and hospital bills
- Costs for medications
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Vehicle damage
- Emotional trauma
- Pain and suffering
Health insurance can help you pay for some of the costs involved with the accident. However, health insurance isn’t always reliable, and the insurance company could refuse to pay out for any number of reasons.
If you don’t have health insurance or if the insurance you have doesn’t cover your costs, it’s a challenging situation to be in. You need to keep up with treatment so your injuries don’t get worse, but rising bills and other costs can increase your stress, making recovery more difficult.
It can take years to get back on your feet. But you can help your situation by seeking compensation for your damages. At John Foy & Associates, we can help you pursue the financial recovery you deserve. Call us at (404) 400-4000 or contact us online for a free consultation.
Who Is Responsible When a Police Chase Causes a Crash
The hard part of a police chase accident is determining who was truly at fault. In Georgia, the at-fault party in an accident is responsible for the damages. However, the laws are more complicated when the police department becomes involved.
When the Chase Suspect Is at Fault
The fleeing suspect may be responsible for your accident injuries. Their actions may have led to the police chase and, ultimately, the crash. If the suspect is at fault, you will still need to prove their negligence.
You will need to show that:
- The driver was negligent (they acted with a lack of care toward others)
- That negligence led to the accident
- You incurred injuries and other damages from that accident
In most cases, the first step is usually to file a claim with the other driver’s insurance company and, if you cannot get a fair insurance settlement, you can also sue the driver. However, things are a bit more complicated when you’re dealing with a police officer, rather than a civilian driver.
When the Police Department Is at Fault
Sometimes, police officers act in a way that causes police chase accident injuries. You can typically only hold a police officer liable when they do something improper on the job.
Bringing a case against a government entity is challenging. If you believe the police department might be at fault, talk to a Sandy Springs police chase accident lawyer as soon as possible.
Your Insurance Coverage Options
Sometimes, the at-fault driver won’t have insurance coverage. If the driver was able to flee from the police, you might not even know their identity. In either situation, your insurance company can probably help.
Most drivers in Sandy Springs have uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage. You probably have this coverage unless you previously opted out of it. Your UM/UIM coverage can help pay for an accident where the at-fault driver is uninsured or unknown.
Contact a Police Chase Accident Lawyer in Sandy Springs
You shouldn’t have to bear the costs of someone else’s mistakes. If your car accident was caused by a police chase, reach out to John Foy & Associates. We can help you determine your compensation options.
Call (404) 400-4000 or contact us online for a free consultation today.