Lawsuits for car accident injuries typically involve an impaired or reckless driver but may also have unexpected defendants. But, a 26-year-old former personal trainer filed a personal injury lawsuit against the Riviera Beach, Florida police for a brain injury he suffered when one of its cruisers crashed into his vehicle in Feb. 2017.
A police cruiser was chasing an SUV that ran a stop sign, according to his lawsuit. He charged that police pursued the SUV through a residential neighborhood at speeds approaching 70 mph. The SUV crashed into the side of the victim's car.
His attorneys claim that this pursuit violated police department rules which allow vehicle pursuit when the need for immediate apprehension is greater the danger to the community from the pursuit. Other pursuits are prohibited.
The victim suffered serious brain injuries. He is unable to walk unaided, has trouble forming words and cannot eat or perform other tasks without assistance, according to his lawyer.
He filed a negligence lawsuit earlier this month. His attorney hopes that the city relies on its insurance policy to settle this lawsuit so that the victim and his son receive the money they need. Due to the injury's severity, the damages sought exceed $3 million which exceeds the limits of the policy.
If the case goes to trial, it could take years to receive the money if the victim wins. Florida has a $300,000 damage cap on each act of government wrongdoing. The state legislature would have to enact a special act for a plaintiff to exceed this limit.
The 47-year-old SUV driver was convicted of various offenses related to the accident including resisting arrest and leaving the scene of an accident but was acquitted of cocaine possession. He was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment. It appears that no disciplinary action was initiated against the police officers involved in the accident.
Victims of a car accident caused by a negligent or reckless driver should seek legal representation. An attorney may help assure that they can pursue their rights to compensation for the losses they suffer and the medical care that they need.