South Florida residents are reeling after a police chase in September 2013, which resulted in the tragic death of Maritza Medina. The 48-year-old mother of two was killed when the vehicle of Antonio Feliu, who was being pursued by police in a high-speed car chase that stretched across two counties, crashed into her car, throwing her from the vehicle. Police were pursuing Feliu on suspicion that he had shot and killed his ex-girlfriend and her daughter in a South Miami residence.
Responsible parties in police pursuit injuries
If you or a loved one has been injured because of a police car chase, you may be able to recover damages for the injuries suffered from either the fleeing suspect, the law enforcement authorities themselves, or both, depending on the circumstances of the pursuit. If police involved in the chase acted recklessly in either deciding to initiate the pursuit, or at any time throughout the pursuit of the suspect, it may be possible to pursue a negligence action under state law. In addition, an alternative method of recovery against law enforcement officials is to bring a civil rights action under federal law.
Damages for personal injury victims
Generally, under Florida law, an injured party may sue to recover compensatory damages, intended to compensate the victim for losses suffered due to the injury, including:
Medical treatment costs Loss of consortium, or companionship Lost present and future income Pain and suffering Emotional distress Loss of enjoyment of activities
Under certain circumstances, injured parties may also be awarded punitive damages, which are designed to punish the party responsible for the accident in cases where he or she acted in a particularly careless manner.
If you or a loved one has been injured because of a police chase, a personal injury attorney can help you obtain compensation.