Deadly car crashes are not limited to the actions of a reckless, distracted or drunk driver. The family of a women who was killed in a car accident by a driver fleeing police filed a legal action against the Long Beach police. The victim’s family held police partially responsible for her death.
The victim’s mother filed a wrongful death claim against Long Beach on behalf of the victim’s 11-year-old daughter. Compensation was not specified. These actions are usually a forerunner to a lawsuit.
Police said that their pursuit of a stolen van began when it crashed into a vehicle holding the victim and six dogs on May 7. According to the legal action, police should have been aware of the dangers associated with pursuing this suspect because of his criminal history.
He was an alleged gang member who was arrested 20 times. But, police claimed that they were unaware of the driver’s identity and knew only that the van was stolen.
In addition to the victim, five of the six dogs were killed in this auto accident. The 43-year-old suspect was charged with murder and multiple counts of animal cruelty. He pled not guilty to the charges.
There are 15 elements that police officers are instructed to consider before engaging in a car chase. These include traffic conditions and the likelihood of apprehending the driver. Police are conducting an internal investigation into the police officer’s decisions and tactics used in this pursuit.
There are many obstacles to successfully suing police for their actions in car pursuits, however. A Los Angeles civil grand jury issued a 2017 report stating that California police departments are protected from legal liability, if they comply with certain training standards even if they do not follow their agency’s pursuit policies.
Car accident victims or their families, however, may be entitled to compensation for damages inflicted in a crash. An attorney can help them gather proof and address liability laws.