Switch to ADA Accessible Theme
Close Menu
Matassini Law Firm
FREE Consultations Available
813-217-5715
TAMPA
Matassini Law Firm > Blog > Car Accidents > Reckless High-Speed Police Chase Kills One, Injures One

Reckless High-Speed Police Chase Kills One, Injures One

RecklessDr3

One person is dead, and another one seriously injured, after Pasco County Sheriff’s Deputies relentlessly pursued a man who may have done nothing wrong.

Initially, deputies received conflicting reports about an incident at an area convenience store. One witness stated that the suspect had placed a woman in a headlock. Another witness claimed that he forced the woman into a vehicle and fled the scene. Deputies assumed the second witness was accurate and they pursued the man as he travelled the wrong way on State Road 54. After he crashed head-on into a pickup truck, both vehicles erupted into a fireball. The initial man was killed almost instantly. The pickup driver was rushed to a nearby hospital with second-degree burns. The woman was nowhere to be found.

While noting that the deceased had a criminal record involving assaults, Pasco Sheriff Chris Nocco defended his deputies’ actions. “When they were pursuing, they were pursuing thinking she was in the vehicle,” he offered.

High Speed Police Chases in Tampa

As far back as the 1990s, the federal government advised local law enforcement agencies to ban, or at least sharply limit, high-speed pursuits. Each year, these incidents kill and seriously injure far more people than police shootings. Moreover, the casualties from police chases outnumber the casualties in hurricanes, floods, and all other kinds of natural disasters.

But for the most part, most agencies still allow these pursuits. On the record, officers usually point out that they cannot pick and choose where and when to enforce laws. Off the record, they typically admit that the adrenaline rush in “getting the bad guy” is simply too tempting to refuse.

A number of devices, such as portable tire spikes and advanced GPS tracking devices, are currently available. These gadgets largely obviate the need to pursue suspects at high speeds. Yet there is little indication that police departments will abandon their pursue-at-all-costs policies.

Your Claim for Damages

As emergency responders, police officers have a great deal of immunity in these situations. They obviously do not have to stop at stop signs, obey speed limits, and observe most other rules of the road. However, this immunity is not unlimited. If officers recklessly pursue suspects, victims may have legal claims for damages.

If officers recklessly pursue speeders or parking violators, these chases are clearly reckless. If officers pursue armed terrorists, these chases are clearly not reckless. Most fall somewhere in the middle. So, the court may consider a number of factors, including:

  • Time of day,
  • Severity of the offense,
  • Threat to others,
  • Amount of traffic, and
  • Length of pursuit.

The court may also consider standing an ad hoc policies about not pursuing suspects. If officers disobey these instructions, such action is basically a presumption of negligence.

Damages in these cases usually include compensation for both economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering. Furthermore, since a government entity is involved, these claims are procedurally different from ordinary negligence claims.

Contact Tenacious Lawyers

Police officers may be liable for damages in high-speed police chase cases. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in Tampa, contact The Matassini Law Firm, P.A. We do not charge upfront legal fees in negligence cases.

Resource:

abcactionnews.com/news/region-pasco/man-dies-after-crashing-head-on-into-vehicle-while-being-pursued-by-deputies-in-pasco-county

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn

The experience you need in your pursuit of justice

The greatest distinguishing feature among attorneys is their level of experience. Our firm has more than 60 years of legal experience, much of it spent in the courtroom at trial. As a result, our Tampa personal injury lawyers rarely encounter an unfamiliar situation and can thoroughly answer your urgent questions. Our criminal defense practice features a board certified criminal trial lawyer and two former prosecutors with impressive knowledge of trial tactics and procedures.

The resources to provide quality representation for the length of your case

Whether your case involves medical malpractice, an auto accident or a wrongful death, your attorney must be prepared to take the case all the way through trial to verdict. Many personal injury attorneys advance the cost of litigation, so they can only last so long before financial pressures start to mount. As a client, you have to wonder whether an attorneyÕs advice to settle your case reflects the quality of the offer or your attorneyÕs need to get paid. Fortunately, The Matassini Law Firm has the resources to pursue civil verdicts and settlements that reflect the actual value of your case.

Call our Tampa Bay personal injury lawyers for a free consultation

A crisis in your life calls for capable and compassionate assistance. The Matassini Law Firm, P.A. addresses your needs all the way through the legal process. For your free initial confidential conference with one of our Tampa personal injury lawyers, call us today at 813-217-5715 or contact us online.

Share This Page:
Facebook Twitter LinkedIn
888-377-0011
Toll Free
813-217-5715
Tampa
2811 W. Kennedy Blvd., Tampa, Florida 33609
GET DRIVING DIRECTIONS
+