Police Chases & Wrongful Death
Turn on the TV today and you can almost always find a video of a wild police chase on your local news, or on one of the many programs dedicated to turning police work into entertainment.
For some, the high speed chase has become a spectator sport. So, it's no wonder that most people are desensitized to the images.
But just consider what you're seeing. You are seeing officers of the law recklessly chasing suspects at high speeds, placing innocent drivers and pedestrians in danger, sometimes even intentionally ramming the vehicle out of control, and almost always ending in a spectacular crash.
For those who are suddenly and violently injured or killed, or whose child dies in an automobile accident caused by a reckless police chase or police speeding to the scene of a reported crime, it is no game. Police chases or high-speed driving create a dangerous situation for everyone involved. The most tragic end in the deaths of innocent bystanders, sometimes children, when police go to extreme lengths pursuing suspects for minor violations, or speeding to a destination without paying attention to the traffic, traffic lights or road conditions.
Some agencies, counties, and states are changing their policies to limit extreme pursuits or speeds to cases where a violent felony is involved, but many departments still follow vague and loose chase policies, leaving the decision up to "officer discretion" and allowing dangerous, high speed pursuits of suspects for minor, non-violent infractions. Yet it is a known fact that reducing the number of chases, by eliminating frivolous pursuits, can significantly reduce serious injuries and deaths. According to published research, "approximately 40% of all pursuits result in a crash, 20% result in an injury and 1% result in a death."
Money can never replace lost loved ones, but if you ask victims' families, they will tell you that what they really want to see is an end to dangerous chase policies, so no one else has to lose their child or loved one in a frivolous police chase. When danger, death, disabling injuries, and public outcry aren't enough to inspire change in policies, financial loss may be the only motivating factor left to effect change.
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a police chase, or by a police car travelling at high speed or being operated in a dangerous manner, contact us today. At Parker, Pallett, Slezak & Russell we have successfully overcome the defense of "officer discretion" and have proved gross negligence against reckless police officers.