While driving is one of the more dangerous activities people engage in on a daily basis, some police officers are just reckless when they are in pursuit of a suspect. Their actions can sometimes lead to greater injuries to people and property nearby than the underlying crime, and there have been many situations where police cars strike people at high speeds and kill them. Improper driving is a serious source of police brutality and misconduct, as car accidents can become severe in many cases, yet the officers are rarely held accountable by their own superiors.
A car chase in Yazoo City turned fatal when a Mississippi Highway Patrol Trooper and Yazoo County Deputy collided with a 19 year old riding a motorcycle.
A Chase involving motorcyclists turns fatal
The Yazoo County Sheriff’s Department received a call on a Sunday night about motorcycles speeding and drag racing just outside of the Yazoo City limits. When the police officers arrived at the scene on MS-149, three of the motorcycles sped away and initiated a high speed chase. After the police and cyclists re-entered the city during the chase, one of the Yazoo County officers struck one of the motorcycles at the intersection of Locust Street and Broadway. The motorcycle rider was ejected into the eastbound lane of traffic and a Mississippi Highway Patrol Trooper going in that direction struck the young man’s body in the street. The Mississippi Highway Patrol released a statement that they would investigate the accident further.
The legalities surrounding a police chase
While this young man may have been speeding or committing other traffic offenses, law enforcement officers still have to exercise a duty of care while they are on the roads. It may have been negligent for them to chase one driver back into the city where the odds of a collision are much higher. If any of the officers involved are officially disciplined as a result of this chase, that may provide further evidence of police misconduct that can be used by a lawyer.
While the police are government employees, they can still be sued for negligently driving like anyone else. All government employees and offices had historically been protected from tort lawsuits by a doctrine called sovereign immunity, Mississippi has abolished these protections like many other states under the Mississippi Tort Claims Act. There are certain regulations that limit the amount of money a victim can collect from the government under these laws in each state, however this must be discussed with a lawyer based on the specifics of your case.
When the negligence of one person causes the death of another, a lawsuit called a wrongful death action can be filed. This is meant to pay the surviving family members an amount that covers things like medical and funeral expenses, as well as the money the person could have earned from working and providing other valuable services throughout the course of their life. In the case of a 19 year old decedent, there are many years worth of potential earnings that can go to the family, so the value of a lawsuit can be quite large. There are also strict time limits to file a lawsuit for a wrongful death, so it is best to retain legal help sooner rather than later.
Lawyers are available to help in Yazoo City
If you have been injured by a police car or any other forms of police misconduct, lawyers in Yazoo City may be able to file a lawsuit on your behalf. Williams, Newman, Williams, PLLC are available to help victims and their families after any kind of accident in the state of Mississippi. Their specialization in lawsuits related to car crashes and common sources of injury will help victims collect as much money as they deserve.