Police Vehicular Pursuit
Whenever law enforcement initiates a vehicle pursuit of a driver or motorist, they are supposed to balance the risk involved in pursuing the motorist with the safety of the public. A majority of law enforcement agencies provide their officers with guidelines and regulations for what the proper techniques in pursuing a motorist are, in what circumstances a pursuit is justified, and so on.
Generally, officers are prohibited from engaging in one of the following activities during a vehicle pursuit: Boxing in, caravanning, forcing collision, overtaking, pursuit paralleling, ramming and roadblocks. The reason many police departments forbid these techniques is because they create substantial risk to the safety of the motorist, bystanders, other drivers, and the officers.
Obtaining a judgment against a police officer or department for injuries or death caused by an improper vehicular pursuit is challenging, but possible. Unlike false arrest and excessive force claims–that are primarily brought under federal law–bringing a lawsuit based on a vehicular pursuit injury will most often involve state law claims.
The Kulis Law team has litigated several vehicular pursuit cases, not shying away from the challenge of holding law enforcement accountable for such conduct.