When police officers receive a call summoning them to a crime or crash scene, their adrenaline often kicks into overdrive. This is often why you see them speeding down the road with their blue lights flashing. Time is critical. Someone’s life may be in danger if they don’t make it their destination fast enough.
Adrenaline fuels them to engage in high-speed chases of suspected criminals too. Sadly, when two reckless motorists are driving down the road, it can have serious consequences for those around them. Unsuspecting motorists are often struck and injured or killed when police are making pursuit. If you’ve been hurt, then you may wonder who you can hold accountable for your medical costs and other expenses.
Most police departments have policies in place that require their officers to extend a duty of care to bicyclists, motorists and pedestrians when making chase. They’re supposed to back off of a suspect’s car if they see that their pursuit of them is making them drive increasingly erratically. A police officer is also supposed to drive as safely as possible at all times.
A suspect that police are chasing can be held liable for any injuries an innocent bystander or motorist suffers. You can file a lawsuit against one who engages in negligence by speeding, weaving in and out of traffic or by driving in some other reckless way. You may be able to collect medical costs, lost wages and other damages for infliction of emotional distress from them if you do.
If you’re injured during a police chase by an officer, then you may be able to also sue the county or city that they’re employed by for negligence. Whether you’re able to do so will depend on what authority that the police officer is given to carry out their job responsibilities. In some jurisdictions, they enjoy limited immunity. Proving that their duty to exercise due care was breached may not be as easy as it seems.
Countless individuals are hurt when they’re struck by fleeing criminals or adrenaline-fueled first responders on an annual basis here in Montana and virtually every other state in the country. If you’ve been seriously hurt in a crash with one of these parties, then a car accidents attorney in Belgrade can go over legal remedies that you can pursue in your case.