Innocent victims of freeway chase crash settle lawsuit with city
A lawsuit stemming from a high speed police chase that led to a crash injuring two innocent motorists has been settled.
Two men left brain damaged after being struck by car involved in police chase
Two young men who were left severely brain damaged after a freeway police chase ended in a horrific car crash have settled their lawsuit with the City of Houston, according to KHOU 11 News. The two men were not involved in the chase, but were struck by the fleeing motorist when police created a traffic jam while laying down spikes to apprehend the suspect. The victims’ families say the police essentially used innocent motorists as human shield during the chase.
Chase leads to crash
The crash occurred on Jan. 14, 2009 when a woman managed to steal a deputy’s police car and then proceeded to flee from police. While trying to slow her down, police stopped traffic on I-10 in order to lay down road spikes, according to the Houston Chronicle. A traffic jam was created and instead of proceeding into an empty lane, the woman collided with the vehicle in which the two young men were riding. They had been stuck in traffic created by the road spikes and had nothing to do with the chase itself.
The men were left severely brain damaged and require permanent assistance both for their own care and the care of their children. Their families say that the police essentially used innocent motorists as human shields during the car chase and therefore the city shares some responsibility for the car accident.
Settlements involving Houston City Council are rare, but the circumstances of this case seemed to justify such a step. While the attorney for the city denied that the officers acted with “deliberate indifference” toward public safety, as the lawsuit alleged, he nonetheless acknowledged that settling the suit was in the best interests of the victims and the city.
The lawsuit was settled for $5 million, which the city agreed to after considering the extent of the victims’ injuries. The two men are unlikely to ever be able to work again and will likely require medical care well into the future.
During the lawsuit, considerable attention was paid to whether or not the city had adequately trained police officers in safely setting up roadblocks.
Motor vehicle accidents
As the above case shows, innocent motorists and bystanders can often become the victims of car crashes caused by negligent drivers or other third parties. The consequences of such accidents can be long lasting and may often lead to years of medical bills and lost wages.
Anybody who has been injured in a motor vehicle accident that was caused by the negligence of another party should contact a qualified personal injury attorney as soon as possible. An experienced attorney will fight to make sure that victims receive the compensation they deserve in order to adequately address the pain and suffering associated with their injuries.