When criminal suspects or other people such as drunk drivers speed away from stops by police officers, innocent people often suffer the consequences.
This is exactly what happened in Virginia Beach, VA, on the afternoon of May 22, 2014. A robbery and carjacking near the Oceanfront led to a high-speed pursuit along I-264 that ended at Town Center after the fleeing suspect exited the interstate onto Independence Boulevard and turned onto Virginia Beach Boulevard.
In addition to hurting the woman he stole from, the suspect hit an SUV, caused a police cruiser to hit a pole and rammed a parked vehicle. A person in the SUV sustained injures that, while not life-threatening, did require hospital treatment. After apprehending the suspect, law enforcement personnel charged the suspect with multiple felonies, including one for causing a hit-and-run accident.
Running from a traffic stop or arrest always puts other people's lives at risk, from both suspects and law enforcement personnel. As Virginia personal injury and wrongful death lawyers, my colleagues and I have seen too many high-speed chases result in fatalities. While that, thankfully, did not happen this time, the danger is undeniable.
Regardless of how the criminal charges against the suspect get resolved, the person injured by his irresponsible and reckless actions has a strong case for seeking compensation. A civil lawsuit filed with the intent of recovering money spent on medical care and wages lost to temporary disability can proceed separate from, and at the same time as, any criminal trial. And even a driver without automobile insurance can be found liable for causing harm and made to bear the financial costs of his or her irresponsible actions.