High speed police chases kill hundreds of people—including law enforcement officials, alleged criminals and innocent civilians—each year in the United States. The wrongful deaths and personal injuries caused by a police chase makes them one of top causes of car accidents. While authorities are engaged in high-speed police chases to capture a fleeing suspect, there can be a disregard for the safety of other drivers as officers continue the chase well after the danger outweighs the need to apprehend the suspect.
That is why two-thirds of those injured or killed in fatal car accidents stemming from a police chase are innocent drivers and pedestrians that have nothing to do with the chase.
Our car accident attorneys are especially sensitive to news involving police chases and are concerned that the police might be putting the public at risk when trying to catch someone who’s breaking the law.
Pursuits by law enforcement on the road are even more dangerous than commonly thought. More people in the United States are killed by high speed pursuits than they are by police firearms, and yet, these wrongful deaths from car accidents will likely continue year after year. That is why we must convince police departments to modify their pursuit policies to only chase offenders when the following occurs:
- It is safe to follow and pursue a suspect.
- Only chase a fleeing driver when forcible felonies are involved.
In a minor case, such as a shoplifting incident, it makes little or no sense for the police to pursue such a suspect at high speeds in a metropolitan area where it is likely to hurt innocent bystanders. When the police chase a suspect for a non-violent act or a minor offense and someone is killed, then, we as a society must ask ourselves if the good outweighs the bad.
Some of the most enlightened police departments throughout the country have neglected to establish chase policies. Yet, even with the police departments that have pursuit policies, the average patrol officer receives little or no training about the terms of such rules.
In short, the best laws are those which emphasize that the officers in pursuit must always be aware that, during any police chase innocent, drivers can be killed or injured in a car accident. This will require them to assess whether the need to capture the fleeing driver is greater than is the need to protect the public from potential auto accidents caused by the police chase. Of course, do not forget that law enforcement have alternative ways to keep track of drivers that evade capture, helicopters for instance.
It is important for officers to be able to make calm, rational decisions in a police chase. Doing so would lead to overall safety of the general public and prevent needless car accidents.
Call Our Lawyers If You’ve Been Injured From A Car Accident Caused By A Police Chase
If you’ve been injured in a car accident that was caused by a police chase then call us now at 1-800-655-6585 or click here for a FREE consultation with an experienced car accident lawyer. Since 1992, our San Diego law office has been geared primarily towards auto accident claims. We know how the insurance companies work, so let our insider knowledge help you in your time of need.