A recent Virginian-Pilot article reports a high-speed chase between police officers and teenagers driving a stolen car. The chase began in Newport News, Virginia (VA) and ended in Chesapeake, VA.
Thankfully, this time there were only a few minor crashes, none of them causing injury. Sadly, that is not always the case. Too often, police chases end in horrific car accidents, which may result in serious injury to innocent motorists who were literally in the wrong place and the wrong time.
When a situation like this occurs, you may wonder who is responsible for the damage to vehicles and property, as well as the medical bills that will be generated from the injuries. Does the law enforcement agency whose officers were involved in the chase make compensation, or will the person who was driving the vehicle that was being chased? If the person is a minor, as was the case of the two teenagers involved in this particular incident. Will their parents or guardians be responsible?
The answer is dependent on the specific case: if the driver being chased does cause the damage or injury, any insurance protecting that driver may provide coverage. However, the issue of whether a police officer or the insurance on the police car may apply is much more complicated and will depend on many variables. One variable is whether the police chase was reckless and in compliance with standards. Legal advice may be required in each circumstance.
About the Editors: Shapiro, Cooper, Lewis & Appleton personal injury law firm (VA-NC law offices ) edits the injury law blogs Virginia Beach Injuryboard, Norfolk Injuryboard, and Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard as a pro bono service to consumers.