High speed police chase cases kill hundreds of people each year throughout this country and injure thousands. One-third (1/3) of those injured or killed are the fleeing suspects. The majority of the remaining two-thirds (2/3) of those injured or killed in such cases involve innocent third parties having nothing whatsoever to do with the police chase incident. Finch McCranie, LLP has represented numerous families who have been victimized by reckless chases undertaken by officers acting in disregard of the rights of the innocent motoring public. While these officers are typically chasing in order to capture the suspect, oftentimes the officers disregard the pursuit policies and procedures of their own police departments and continue the chase well after it becomes clear that the danger to innocent members of the motoring public substantially outweighs the need to apprehend the suspect.
A typical example of the case that our firm sees is a situation where police are chasing a driver for a broken taillight or some other minor offense. If the police chase such an offender at high speeds, obviously, the need to apprehend the suspect is far less than is the danger presented to the public by the high speed pursuit. More people in the United States are killed by high speed pursuits than they are by police firearms. And yet, we know from experience that these pursuits continue year after year. The challenge is to convince police departments to modify their pursuit policies to only chase offenders when it is safe to do so and typically to only chase them when forcible felonies are involved.
In a minor case such as a shoplifting incident, it makes little or no sense for the police to pursue such a suspect at high speeds in a metropolitan area where it is likely that serious injury or death will result if a collision occurs. Our firm has handled such cases where a fleeing shoplifter ran a red light and crashed into an innocent third party motorist killing 3 or more people in the same vehicle. Experience has indicated that oftentimes the best procedure that police officers should employ during a high speed pursuit is simply to terminate the pursuit and let the offender go particularly where the offender is being sought for a non-violent act which does not present a substantial danger to the community.
If you or a loved one have been injured by a high speed police chase case, you should confer with counsel immediately. Oftentimes, there are ante litem pre-suit requirements under state law which must be met. If you do not timely confer with counsel, your legal rights can be unwittingly waived because of the ignorance of such pre-suit filing requirements. Finch McCranie, LLP has substantial experience in filing ante-litem notices for innocent third party victims of police chase cases and has presented such claims not only throughout the counties surrounding metropolitan Atlanta but throughout the State of Georgia. For a free initial consultation concerning such a case, call us at (800) 228-9159. You may also contact us online.
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