A man fleeing police plowed into a car carrying a group of students heading home after watching a football game at Anderson County High School. A female student is in critical condition and the other two have been taken to the hospital and their condition is unknown at this time.
Police say that the man who hit them had an outstanding warrant and was spotted by police who then attempted to pull him over. He led them on a chase from Mercer County into Anderson County when the crash occurred. The man is being held on a outstanding warrant and has been charged with driving under the influence and evading police. More charges are pending.
Police Chase Crashes
Around 300 people die in police crashes each year and around 100 of those are people not involved in the chase. Though this is a statistically small number (under 1%) it represents a larger number of injuries and accidents.
When someone is injured or killed in a police chase crash, the focus naturally turns to the question of whether the police needed to chase the suspect, especially at high speeds.
Kentucky Police Chase Rules
Police in Kentucky are allowed to chase fleeing suspect unless the danger to the public from the chase is greater than the danger to the public by letting the suspect go. In the case of an intoxicated driver, police have to decide if they let the person go what is the likelihood that he or she will crash into someone?
The pursuit can be terminated by the first officer that engaged in the pursuit or a supervisor. This provides a balance between the desire to catch a scofflaw and the need to protect the public.
Who Pays for Police Chase Injuries?
In June of 2019, a Kentucky Supreme Court held that an injured victim of a police chase can sue the department for damages. Prior to that, the a doctrine called sovereign immunity protected police from suits by those injured by police.
After the ruling, when the police are negligent, anyone who is injured in the accident can sue for all financial losses that came from the accident. This is a significant victory for those injured in police chases as in many cases, the injured had to pay for all losses themselves.
If the fleeing driver doesn’t have insurance, or if it turns out that the police officer wasn’t negligent, then the injured victim might have to pay for the injuries and losses themselves. However, if they have uninsured or underinsured on there own auto policy, they might be able to make a claim and get their losses covered.
Contact an Attorney Today
While money alone does not put make the person whole again, dealing with the physical and emotional aspects of a traumatic accident is made more difficult as the financial losses add up creating more anxiety and stress.
If you’ve been injured in an accident involving a police chase, you need to talk to an attorney right away so you can be advised of the law and your rights. Many victims of these accidents wonder if they need to get an attorney. In most cases, the answer is yes. You need to understand your rights and what you are entitled to under the law so you can make the best decision.
Call the attorneys at Kaufman & Stigger, PLLC, and they will stand behind you to make sure that you are treated fairly and that you get the highest compensation allowed by the law.