The primary goal of law enforcement officials is to protect public safety and prevent crimes from occurring. When an alleged incident occurs, Bay Area police are aggressive in their efforts at apprehending suspects. Unfortunately, this can create dangers for innocent passersby. One of the riskiest maneuvers involves high-speed police chases. While most are not as dramatic as those that appear on television shows and in movies, they do happen on a regular basis. A recent pursuit-related car accident in San Jose highlights the potential risks these crashes pose for officers as well as other drivers on the road.
Two Officers Injured in Car Accident While in Pursuit of Suspect
A recent police pursuit in San Jose left two California Highway Patrol officers injured. The accident occurred just after midnight on Interstate 880 in San Jose on August 2, 2019. The officers were in pursuit of a speeding driver approaching the area of I-280 when they lost control of their vehicle. Their police car rolled over at least once and the airbags deployed but the officers were reported to have suffered only minor injuries. The suspect involved was not injured, did not stop at the crash site, and was never apprehended. Police are continuing to investigate the incident.
Apprehending drivers for traffic violations is just one of many reasons high-speed chases can occur. Alleged suspects attempt to flee crimes on a regular basis and a car chase may be required to apprehend them. San Jose Police Department Duty Manual outlines the regulations that are in place to guide officers in these situations. Major considerations in pursuing a car chase include:
- The nature and severity of the offense;
- The likelihood of apprehending the suspect through a car chase or through other means;
- The area in which the chase would occur;
- The chance that innocent pedestrians could get involved or be hurt in the process.
Pursuing a police chase under unsafe conditions could leave officers and police departments facing legal liability. This is particularly true if a car accident does occur and other motorists involved suffer potentially serious injuries.
Pursuit-Related Car Accidents
Police pursuit related car accidents that involve innocent bystanders are more common than you might think. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), approximately 355 people are killed in these crashes each year, which average to roughly one person each day. They can cause serious injuries for motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians uninvolved in the crime but near the vicinity. Factors that contribute to these collisions include:
- Speeding and going too fast for conditions
- Pursuing suspects in high traffic conditions
- Pursuing suspects near parks, schools, or shopping centers
- Not heading traffic signs while in pursuit
- Not stopping at crosswalks and intersections
Contact Our San Jose Attorneys Today for Help
Car accidents can happen for a variety of reasons. When you suffer injuries as a result, the Jachimowicz Law Group is a strong ally on your side. To discuss how we can help in these situations, call 408-246-5500 or contact our skilled San Jose car accident attorneys online for a free consultation today.