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Injured as a Result of a High-speed Chase. Who Is at Fault?

Posted on: January 19, 2017 by Edwards & Patterson Law

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Police high-speed pursuit accidents are at an all-time high with more injuries or fatalities stemming from law enforcement vehicles pursuing suspects than from police firearms. When someone is injured or killed in conjunction with a high-speed police chase, whether that person was directly involved or an innocent bystander, who is liable? The answer isn’t easily determined, as many factors must be considered.

You Wouldn’t Have Been an Injured Without a Chase

The obvious party at fault in a high-speed police chase is the suspect who chooses to lead the pursuit. A person fleeing law enforcement is not looking out for the physical interest of themselves, the authorities or civilians when they try to elude capture. One may think the insurance of the lead vehicle may take on some of the burden, but auto insurance routinely does not assume responsibility in the case of theft or if any illegal act is performed with the insured vehicle.  A court will undoubtedly find the suspect at fault to some degree, but sometimes law enforcement shares in the blame.

Law Enforcement’s Responsibility in High-Speed Pursuits

The other possible liable party is the police. Police are to be trained and then expected to follow procedure concerning high-speed pursuits. Law enforcement agencies in Oklahoma are to give safety of the public top priority when they pursue a suspect in a vehicle. Determining the risk, both to civilians and to themselves, is left mostly to the discretion of officers involved in the pursuit. With this in mind, it is found that law enforcement is sometimes at least partially responsible for injuries incurred in the pursuit. Procedures may not have been followed or negligence could be found in their assessment of the situation.

Being in the wrong place at the wrong time can have lifetime consequences. Finding the resources to help you recover physical, emotional and financially can be harrowing. Hoping to recover damages from a criminal suspect may seem a hopeless task. A good personal injury attorney can help find the resources you need to receive help. Coverage for injury may be found in uninsured motorist policies and other victim funds that are in place to help victims of such tragedies.

If you or a loved one have been injured or has died as a result of a police chase, talk to a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Edwards & Peterson is a personal injury law firm committed to serving people in southeast Oklahoma with offices in Tulsa and McAlester. Call for a free consultation with one of our compassionate team members.

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