Who Is Liable for Damages in an L.A. Car Chase?

Car chases aren’t uncommon in Los Angeles. Watching one on a live broadcast can be exciting, but being caught in the middle of the action isn’t fun. High-speed chases can cause unsuspecting drivers, passengers, and pedestrians to be severely injured. There’s no way to predict when a police chase may occur. If your life has been affected by an L.A. car chase, you’re probably wondering who is liable so you can pursue compensation.

The following may have to pay for damages after a car chase:

The Suspect

The behavior of a fleeing suspect breaches the duty of care a motorist owes to others on the road. If the suspect collides with another car or otherwise causes injuries and property damage (for example, by ignoring red lights and stop signs), they can be named in a lawsuit. They may not only be punished for reckless driving and committing the crime that preceded the chase. The suspect can also be liable for the cost of the physical, mental, and emotional impact of the crash.

Police Officers/Departments

In California, state law makes it difficult to sue peace officers and police departments. Fleeing suspects are typically seen as the instigators of L.A. car chase accidents. That doesn’t mean you can’t file a lawsuit if injured in a collision with a police car or are struck by a vehicle maneuvering away from one. Depending on the circumstances, an offender injured during a chase can also sue the department.

Police officers must use their good judgment when engaging in a chase. A pursuit can be avoided or abandoned if it poses a threat to the officers or the public. Population density, weather, and road/traffic conditions must be considered. Officers can also look at safer options when a suspect flees by car. An attorney can help determine if police were reckless in pursuing a suspect. If the argument is strong enough, you could be compensated for the damages they cause.

A Government Employer

In some cases, liability may fall on an agency above the police department. A state, county, or city agency may be held liable if it didn’t implement safeguards to prevent unnecessary police pursuits. Some agencies are also responsible for training police officers. A governmental agency may be held responsible if the pursuing officers weren’t properly trained or equipped.

A Vigilante?

Vigilantes don’t only exist in the movies. Some people choose to take crime fighting into their own hands. Anyone involved in an L.A. car chase can be held liable if they cause injuries or property damage. In this case, an officer or law enforcement agency won’t be responsible for paying for damages. A vigilante acts at their own risk and either their insurance will pay or they’ll be required to pay out of pocket.

Contact a Skilled L.A. Car Chase Attorney

At The Law Offices of Jacob Emrani, we represent clients in car accidents and a wide range of other personal injury cases. Regardless of the cause, a car crash that’s not your fault can leave you with major injuries and a lot of bills. We provide high-quality legal representation while our team knows how to build a case, hold responsible parties accountable, and negotiate higher settlements with insurance companies. Call 888-952-2952 for your free consultation.

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