A fleeing suspect and normal heavy traffic along a busy interstate in Northern Virginia on the afternoon of August 2, 2014, set the stage for a multivehicle accident that left five innocent people injured and requiring medical treatment.
According to Virginia State Police, the passenger in a vehicle stopped on I-66 just east of Washington, DC, seized control of the car and sped off. The ensuing chase ended when the suspect hit an SUV from behind, spun out of control and crashed into a station wagon at the exit for N. Glebe Road. The at-fault driver was arrested and transported to a nearby hospital with critical injuries. One passenger in the other vehicles also sustained serious injuries, and four other victims were hurt less badly.
Police pursuits rarely end well. Drivers trying to outrun police are often impaired by drugs or alcohol, almost always drive recklessly, and rarely stop before hitting something. This was recently the case in Virginia Beach, when a man trying to escape arrest after attempting to steal drugs from an Oceanfront pharmacy caused a string of accidents while speeding west toward Norfolk.
As bad as the property damage and physical injuries police pursuits create are the vexing issues the events raise regarding insurance coverage and liability. While most such incidences result in blame for the suspect, police cruisers often collide with other vehicles, pedestrians and buildings. Also, even when the private citizen is undeniably at fault, he or she is likely to lack automobile insurance or be underinsured.
Innocent victims of accidents resulting from police chases owe it to themselves to consult with an experienced Virginia personal injury lawyer. Doing so can help ensure they receive adequate compensation for the medical bills and lost wages they have incurred through no fault of their own.