Chicago Police Chase Accidents: Legal Rights & Compensation
Erratic driving during a high-speed pursuit by local law enforcement puts drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and other innocent victims in danger. These events often result in severe injury and wrongful death.
Police officers often chase the vehicle by weaving in and out of traffic driving significantly faster than the posted speed limit, exceeding 90, 100, 110 mph, or more. These police chases often end tragically, with about 40% in horrific accidents.
The personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC know how these chases devastate all those involved, including innocent bystanders. Our legal team aggressively defends the rights of all those involved by pursuing compensation claims for all damages, injuries, and losses.
Contact us today at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form to schedule a free consultation. All confidential or sensitive information you share with our legal team remains private through an attorney-client relationship.
Police Chases Are Dangerous
Police chases are dangerous for both the police officers and the civilians involved. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2020, there were 5,556 people killed in police pursuits.
Of those, 984 were not the pursued vehicle's driver or passengers. In other words, the other 4,572 fatalities were innocent bystanders. That's an average of 12 deaths a week.
Police officers in a high-speed pursuit will often use their vehicles to block the suspect's path. They will also use their lights and sirens to try to get the suspect to stop. If the fleeing suspect does not stop, the police will continue to pursue them.
Police officers must use caution during a high-speed pursuit, as it can be dangerous for the officers, suspects, and others.
In addition to the risk of death, police chase accidents also often result in serious injury. The NHTSA reports that in 2020 there were 10,887 people injured in police pursuits. That's an average of 19 injuries per day.
Police chases are dangerous for several reasons.
- First, when law enforcement officers pursue suspects in a high-speed chase, the officer is putting their own life at risk.
- Second, civilians in the area of the pursuit may also be endangered and wrongfully injured if they are hit by the fleeing car or debris from a car accident when the Chicago police are giving chase.
- Third, innocent bystanders may be killed or injured if the pursued car crashes into another car or something else on the side of the road.
Injuries Involved in Police Chase Accidents
The most common injuries in police pursuits compromise the well-being of fleeing suspects, innocent bystanders, and innocent victims. These injuries can include:
- Broken bones: the blunt force trauma of metal in a high-speed collision can cause significant fractures of the skull, neck, spinal column, arms, legs, and joints. Many accident victims suffer broken bones that require extensive surgery and lengthy hospital stays.
- Head injuries: the head is especially vulnerable in a high-speed collision. A victim can suffer a concussion, traumatic brain injury, or wrongful death.
- Lacerations: deep cuts caused by glass, metal, or other sharp objects are common in car accidents. These lacerations can require stitches or even skin grafts.
- Internal organ damage: the force of a car accident can cause internal bleeding, organ damage, and other life-threatening injuries.
- Soft tissue injuries: sprains, strains, and other soft tissue injuries are common in car accidents. These injuries can be excruciatingly painful and may require long-term medical treatment.
- Spinal cord damage: The trauma of a high-speed collision can result in spinal cord injuries, leading to paralysis and long-term disability.
- Death: Police pursuits often end in tragedy, with the fleeing suspect or an innocent person killed in the collision.
High-speed police pursuits are dangerous that can lead to sudden, violent collisions. These collisions can cause severe injuries that may require extensive medical treatment and lead to long-term disability or even death.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a police pursuit, it is crucial to seek legal counsel to protect your rights and obtain compensation for your injuries.
Chicago Police Officer Liability in High-Speed Police Chases
When a high-speed car chase results in an accident, the law enforcement officials can be liable for the damages caused by not choosing safer alternatives to avoid consequences. Liability could include damages to private property, civilian injuries, and even fatalities.
In some Chicago, IL police chase cases, the government entity that employs law enforcement officials may also be liable for the crash and damages by any person injured in the vehicle crash.
Chicago Police Officers Have a Duty of Care to Ensure Safety
Law enforcement officials can be liable for their actions in a police chase in several ways. Police actions could be negligent. To establish negligence, the plaintiff must show that the defendant owed a duty of care to the plaintiff, that the defendant breached that duty, and that the breach harmed the plaintiff.
In a police chase, law enforcement officials have a duty of care to ensure that their actions do not endanger the public. They may breach this responsibility by engaging in a high-speed chase when it is not necessary or by using reckless tactics. If their actions result in an accident, they can be liable for the damages caused.
Police officers may also be responsible for civil rights violations. Chicago, Illinois, police can be sued for damages if they use excessive force or violate someone's constitutional rights during a police chase.
Illinois government entities can also be held liable for the actions of their employees. If a law enforcement official acts within the scope of their employment when they cause an accident, the government entity may be held liable.
Holding Law Enforcement Accountable
In any individual case, law enforcement can be legally liable even if they were not working directly for the government entity, Like Chicago or any other city in Illinois at the time of the police chase.
For example, suppose a police officer working for a private security company causes an accident while chasing suspects. In that case, the government entity that contracted the security company may be liable.
If law enforcement officials or government entities are held liable for damages from a high-speed car chase, they may have to pay out substantial sums of money. The legal liability often causes financial hardship for these organizations and increases taxpayer costs.
In some cases, law enforcement officials or government entities may settle out of court to avoid costly litigation to avoid the jurors’ decision on justice and who is responsible for damages on the high-speed vehicle chase.
Hire a Chicago Police Chase Lawyer to Resolve a Compensation Lawsuit
Were you wrongfully injured in a Chicago car accident involving a police chase? Did you lose a loved one due to police officers speeding?
The Chicago, IL personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers are legal advocates who hold Chicago police officers accountable for wrongfully injuring bystanders and crash victims. Civil tort law shows how an unwarranted or illegal police chase led to preventable circumstances that endanger everyone.
We accept every police chase claim and wrongful death lawsuit through a contingency fee agreement. This arrangement insures you’ll pay no upfront fees until your Chicago police chase lawyer resolves your claim for a negotiated settlement or jury award.
Contact us today at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form to schedule of free consultation. Let’s discuss your individual case and how we can seek the justice and financial compensation you deserve.
All confidential or sensitive information you share with our legal team remains private in an attorney-client relationship.