Police Chase Injuries and Fatalities
Most of us pride ourselves on being law-abiding citizens. We have respect for the men and women in blue, and appreciate the security of knowing the police are looking out for our safety. On the roads, we obey the traffic laws, and in the event we do commit an infraction and see those flashing lights behind us, we pull over (even if we do harbor the secret hope that somehow we can get out of getting a ticket). Unfortunately, not everyone is so willing to submit to the authority of law enforcement. High-speed police chases make national headlines, but unfortunately in the efforts to apprehend a fleeing suspect, people end up being hurt. Car accidents and injuries as the result of police chases injure bystanders each year and can result in innocent people being killed. While state and federal agencies have not consistently tracked these accidents, news reports are calling attention to this increasingly harmful and potentially fatal danger.
High-Speed Chases Result In Bystander Fatalities
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), high-speed police chases have become increasingly common in the United States. While the actual number of injuries and fatalities among innocent bystanders in police pursuits is relatively low compared to other traffic fatality and injury statistics, the NIH considers it a significant number that warrants attention. Roughly one person each day is killed as the result of a road or highway police chase, and thousands more suffer serious injuries. Unfortunately, most states do not require recording of these specific accident rates, instead including them with overall injuries and fatalities, and there have been recent allegations that the number of bystanders injured or killed during police chases is higher than has been reported.
A September 2015 USA Today article on police chase fatalities claims that the number of total bystanders hurt or killed during high-speed police chases as indicated by government agencies such as the National Traffic Safety Administration (NTSA) is inaccurate. Amid increasing concerns regarding the use of excessive force by law enforcement and the necessity for these types of high-speed chases, it is estimated that the current figure concerning fatalities in high-speed police chases has been understated by more than 30 percent.
Startling Facts About High Speed Police Chases
A July 2015 Washington Post article on high-speed police chases offers some startling facts. Even using admittedly low estimates from the NHTSA, high-speed police chases kill more people each year than hurricanes, floods, lightning and tornadoes combined. While the majority of those killed in police chases are drivers and passengers in the vehicle being chased by police, figures also show that over a quarter of the people killed in these accidents were completely innocent bystanders who had no involvement whatsoever in the chase. The Washington Post story also points out that the vast majority of potentially fatal police chases have nothing to do with violent crime. In fact, over 91 percent of high-speed chases involve non-violent offenders, and over 42 percent of dangerous chases were for simple traffic infractions.
Reach Out to Us For Help
If you or a loved one has been hurt or injured as the result of a police chase, contact Anastopoulo Law Firm today. Our experienced South Carolina car accident attorneys can protect your rights as an innocent bystander to claim damages as the result of the injuries you suffered during the chase. Get the justice you deserve and call today for a free review of your case.