Protecting The Rights Of People Who Have Been Injured Due To A Police Pursuit
Movies and television shows make it seem as though police chases happen regularly. Though they are much more uncommon than we think, the impact police pursuits can have on innocent bystanders can be substantial. Drivers, pedestrians, bikers, road construction workers and other individuals can suffer serious – even fatal – injuries when law enforcement is involved in high-speed chases.
If you were injured as a bystander in a police pursuit, you have options. At Kent M. Lucaccioni, Ltd., we tirelessly advocate for our Chicago-area clients who have been injured due to high-speed police chases. Having secured millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts for injured people, our lawyers will be dedicated to protecting your rights and seeking compensation for your losses after an accident.
A Known Danger
Since police chases often happen at night, at high speeds and on local roads, the chances of a bystander being involved in a serious accident or suffering a severe injury increase. The number of deaths from police pursuits exceeds the deaths caused by any other police activity.
In light of this statistic, police forces throughout the country have revised their pursuant guidelines. Here in our state, the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board created a document in 1994 that has been updated specifying how law enforcement agencies are to handle police chases. This document defines a “pursuit,” as well as what types of emergency vehicles are authorized to give chase and what situation a pursuit may be initiated. The two criteria that must be met in order for a pursuit to begin are:
- The suspect is actively defying police orders to stop and avoiding apprehension.
- The suspect may potentially cause serious injury or poses the possible threat of death of others if allowed to elude capture.
Who Is Liable For Injuries?
Like any other type of accident, you may be eligible for damages for the injuries you suffered as a result of a police pursuit collision. The negligent party can compensate you for medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering.
It may be possible to hold the police officer and department liable for your injuries. Any government agency or municipality may be held liable if safety measures and guidelines were not set and followed pertaining to a chase. Finally, the suspect themselves may be held accountable, as they were ultimately the reason for the chase.
Fatalities Resulting From A Pursuit
As police pursuits are often conducted at high speeds, the collisions can result in the death of innocent bystanders. These are devastating situations for surviving family members, as their loved ones were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.
It is possible to hold the negligent parties responsible for the wrongful death of an individual. Our attorneys can file a wrongful death claim on behalf of the surviving family and seek compensation.