Personal Injury Lawyer
If a loved one of yours was killed as a consequence of a police chase, it can feel like you have a need to hold someone responsible. This is especially true if your loved one was not even participating in the chase. Many people in this situation wonder if the police can be held responsible and if they can file a wrongful death lawsuit against the officer involved in the chase. This guide will provide you with an answer.
The general rule is that police are allowed to break the law if it is deemed necessary to enforce the law. So what does this mean for a police chase? If it is necessary, the police are allowed to speed, run red lights, or even drive on the wrong side of the road. Importantly, these violations must be necessary to catch the fleeing criminal.
To make this a little safer, all cars are required to pull to the side of the road when an emergency vehicle siren is audible or their lights are visible. Any driver that does not do this, and is injured as a result, may be liable for his or her own injuries. Their failure to pull to the side of the road is seen as their own fault.
So can you hold a police officer responsible for causing the death of your loved one? Chances are very high that you will not be able to. Because police have the right to break the law when necessary, their actions likely will not be seen as negligent. The courts have a reputation for siding with police officers in these matters. However, if a police officer took an unnecessary risk or acted in an irresponsible manner, the officer very well may be found liable for any injuries or deaths caused by their actions. You can speak with an attorney, like a Wrongful Death Lawyer, in Lakewood FL, to learn if you have any chance of achieving this in your unique case.
Remember, you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the criminal who the police were pursuing instead. Generally, it is the pursuer who is held responsible for any damage caused by the chase, even if it was the police car that actually caused the damage. The logic is that the chase would not have happened with their actions, and thus the police would not have been required to act accordingly. There is a much better chance of success when leveling a lawsuit against the pursuer.
Thank you to the experts at David & Philpot, P.L., for their contributions to wrongful death law.