Police chases can be dangerous, and the higher the speed, the greater the danger. Each year in the US, around 350-400 people die in police chases with around a third of those being innocent bystanders. In California, police have guidelines regarding police chases that are designed to balance the need to catch the suspect versus the risk to those around.
Bystander Pedestrian Killed in Police Chase in Long Beach
A man was out walking his dog along 6th St near Magnolia Ave when a vehicle driven by a burglary suspect struck and killed both of them. The tragedy started earlier in the evening when police responded to a break-in at a marijuana shop in the 2100 block of Gaylord Ave.
The man fled in a car and the police gave chase. The suspect then hit both the man and the dog and kept going. He hit a car at Locust Ave and 6th St and was captured by police. It’s unknown if anyone was injured in the second crash or how many vehicles were involved.
Police Chases and Compensation
If you’ve been injured or lost a loved one from an accident caused by a police chase, sometimes you might find it difficult to get compensation for your injuries. There are restrictions on under what conditions police can be sued for a police chase injury that might limit the victim’s ability to get compensated.
Claim Against Driver
If the suspect chased by police was the one who hit you, then you might be able to get compensation from his or her auto insurance. We don’t think of burglars and other criminals having auto insurance, but it’s possible. If so, then the insurance company might pay for damages. It all has to do with the policy and any exceptions in the policy.
Almost every auto insurance policy precludes coverage for stolen vehicles and other criminal acts. So if the insurance company considered driving away from a burglary attempt an act included in a burglary, then there is a chance that they won’t cover it.
Claim Against Police
A more difficult route is to sue the police for negligence in the chase. In California, there are laws that protect police departments and officers from being sued for negligence in a police chase. Not all police chase injuries are covered under the law, so that leaves a slim ray of hope for the victim to get compensation from the police department.
Claim Against Your Own Insurance
If you have your own auto policy with uninsured and underinsured motorist’s coverage, then you might be able to use this to get compensation for your injuries. This coverage will pay you regardless of who is at fault and there is no exception for police chases or illegal activity on the part of the at-fault driver.
If you’ve been injured in a police chase, there may not be any compensation to go after, but don’t let someone from the government, an insurance company, or anyone else tell you that. Talk to a knowledgeable attorney who knows the system and is experienced in getting victims the compensation they deserve.
Contact a Long Beach Personal Injury Attorney
The best thing to do when injured in an automobile accident is to talk to a Long Beach Personal Injury Attorney who understands the law and has experience getting injured victims the compensation they deserve.
Call the Law Firm of Steers & Associates at 800 824 5416 or click here to contact us online. We have attorneys with years of experience dealing with every type of personal injury, and we get results against the insurance companies and their highly-paid lawyers. Call us now to even the playing field and get the compensation you deserve.