Police chases and pursuits often result in a significant amount of collateral damage to innocent bystanders. Although these pursuits may be necessary, the price that the public pays may not always outweigh the chase’s objective. Vehicular pursuits can result in unintended consequences and serious Virginia car accident injuries. There are many policies and procedures governing the situations when a police chase is appropriate. However, these high-pressure situations lend themselves to creating dangerous situations for everyone in the vicinity.
For example, a recent news report described a harrowing crash that arose after a Virginia police pursuit. According to reports, Virginia State Police (VSP) initiated a traffic stop of a Dodge; however, the Dodge failed to pull over. The officer continued pursuing the vehicle until stopping because of heavy traffic. Although additional officers awaited further down the highway, the original officer reinstated a pursuit after the road became less congested. However, the Dodge slammed into the express lane gates and began speeding in the southbound lane, ultimately slamming into a Ford. The Dodge driver and passenger died at the scene of the accident, as did the Ford driver. Several other vehicles and motorists suffered injuries as well.
After a Virginia accident involving police or government agencies, injury victims often face challenges in recovering their damages. These cases involve a complex analysis of various tort law issues, including sovereign immunity, third-party negligence, and liability. Cases involving Virginia police pursuits require a plaintiff to establish the standard of care that the officer owed the victim, whether the officer acted in good faith when engaging in the high-speed pursuit, and whether the police agency was negligent in their training and supervision.