Who To Pursue If You've Been Injured From A Police Pursuit

In many Hollywood movies and on TV shows, police chases often end when the good guys catch the bad ones after a drawn out “cat and mouse” game on the road or in a crowded city. But in reality, police pursuits frequently end with innocent victims being injured and the fleeing suspect still out on the loose. Because many law enforcement agencies have varying policies when it comes to the decision of whether to engage someone in pursuit, it’s little wonder that on average, crashes that result from police chases kill one (1) person daily. Tragically, that scenario recently played out one recent morning during June 2015 in Indianapolis. What’s even more upsetting is that one third (1/3) of those killed are innocent bystanders. If you’re injured or a loved one is killed as a consequence of a police chase, where can you look to be made whole?

One source of recovery may be against the fleeing suspect—if s/he has adequate auto liability insurance coverage (a big “if” since the suspect’s liability coverage may not include coverage for a criminal act). Every driver owes other motorists, pedestrians, and cyclists a duty of care. This duty can be breached when the fleeing suspect drives negligently or recklessly and creates a situation that causes someone to be injured or wrongfully killed.

In addition to the suspect’s liability, the police department and other municipal entities involved in the coordination of the police chase may also be held liable for a variety of reasons. For example, the police may have pursued the suspect and needlessly prolonged the chase at the public’s expense. Or perhaps the police should not have even initiated the pursuit in the first place because the proximity to a school or busy street.

If the fleeing suspect has no auto liability insurance coverage, and no negligence can be imputed to any municipal entities, the innocent bystander may be able to make a claim under his/her own auto insurance policy if that individual has uninsured motorist (“UM”) coverage. This coverage is available in the instance that the at-fault party does not possess the auto insurance required under the State’s Financial Responsibility Laws.

Making a claim for personal injuries against a governmental entity or insurance company can be a complex and lengthy process. While an innocent bystander’s injuries may be clear as day—often times the liability for those injuries is not. Contact the Indiana police chase injury lawyers at Jacobs Law today for a free case evaluation.