Police vehicle pursuit ends in fatality
by Benjamin Treviño | July 28th, 2023 | Blog
A 39-year-old Belton, Texas man died July 26 after a police chase that ended with him crashing into the south embankment of a canal, according to a press release from the Texas Department of Public Safety.
The man was identified as Bruce Theodore Garcia.
According to the Alton Police Department, the vehicle chase started about 9:00 p.m. when one of its officers tried to make a traffic stop on Los Ebanos Rd, but the driver refused to stop and attempted to flee.
“The driver of the Pontiac evaded (by) traveling through a cul-de-sac, and crashed into a canal on Los Ebanos Road south of Mile 4 Road,” the release said.
The Pontiac, driven by Garcia, rolled onto its left and top after crashing into the south embankment of the canal, the document goes on to say.
Garcia died at the scene, and DPS troopers continue to investigate.
Who can be held responsible for a crash after a police chase?
In most Texas cases, the party at fault is the one who had a duty of care to the person injured and who is later determined to have violated that duty. With this in mind, the parties who are typically found liable for causing police chase accidents are:
All drivers owe a duty of care to other road users, and the dangerous driving behavior of a chase can be seen as a breach of that duty. The suspect can be sued in court if he or she collided with another car, or if the suspect’s actions caused injuries or property damage. If a victim suffers emotional distress as well as physical injuries, the suspect may be liable for the cost of mental and emotional recovery.
Police officers and departments
It is difficult to sue law enforcement officers and/or their agency for injury compensation, it’s not impossible. Texas and some individual cities have specific pursuit procedures so as not to place anyone’s life or property at undue risk. If those procedures are not followed, and a person is injured or property is damaged, the police agency can be sued for damages.
Even the offenders themselves can file suits against police officers or the police department after an injury.
Depending on the circumstances, the municipalities where the police departments are located can be held liable for crash injuries if there weren’t safeguards in place to prevent the behavior or if the crash resulted from a failure to adequately train police officers in pursuit procedures.
Contact the J. Gonzalez Law Firm
Lawsuits resulting from police pursuits tend to be legally complex and difficult to navigate. That’s why you need the knowledge and expertise of the personal injury attorneys at the J. Gonzalez Law Firm. Time and again our firm has risen to the challenges of the most difficult cases, and it all begins with a free, no-risk consultation.
Get the ball rolling today by calling 1-800-CAR-CRASH, or by chatting with one of our representatives on this website.