Police Car Accident Claims
Every year there are numerous deaths and thousands of other injuries arising as a result of accidents involving the drivers of police cars. Blue lights do not give the police priority over other road users but merely serve to indicate their presence. In many police pursuits there is an inadequate risk assessment resulting in inappropriate decisions being taken by police drivers despite their training.
Police drivers have some exemptions from criminal liability as a result of road traffic regulations including observing red traffic lights however they are still liable for their negligent actions in a civil action if they do not take sufficient care to protect members of the public. Failure to do so will make the Police Authority liable to pay compensation for any injuries that occur in a police accident even when in pursuit of a dangerous criminal.
Recent reports from the Police Complaints Authority suggest the number of people killed or injured in a police accident during vehicle chases more than tripled over a period of just a few years.
Research conducted by the authority found that the police frequently engage in unnecessary and dangerous high-speed chases. The report recommended that police chases should be authorised from central control rooms, that unmarked police cars should be banned from taking part in high-speed chases altogether and that drivers' discretion to chase be reduced, by increasing management control on the development of pursuits.
The report suggested that officers should not be able to pursue cars unless they had a ‘clear, centrally agreed strategy for attempting to stop the vehicle safely’. Forces must consider whether officers who pursue without control room permission or who fail to adequately communicate risk or who fail to pull over when instructed to call off a chase by the control room, should be disciplined.
In these cases you should be able to obtain compensation if you were injured as a result of a police car accident.