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Police Chase Kills Teenage Girl

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A 17-year-old girl was killed when she missed a turn and her vehicle tumbled down an embankment as a deputy sheriff was in hot pursuit.

According to the Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office, a deputy saw the girl’s car and another car parked in the side lot of a Dollar General store after hours. The deputy got back in his patrol vehicle and chased the Camry, which made a sudden left turn onto Richardson Boulevard. Since the vehicle was moving too fast for the turn, the Camry ran off the right side of the road and down an embankment, crashing into the wooded area

The girl, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was declared dead at the scene.

High-Speed Police Chases and Negligence

Police officers don’t have to strictly obey speed limits and other traffic laws during pursuits. However, this immunity is not unlimited. If a Columbia personal injury attorney proves officers were reckless. Evidence of recklessness includes:

  • Nature of the Offense: Most suspects, like the one in the above story, allegedly committed non-violent offenses. In fact, many chase suspects committed traffic violations. There’s no reason to risk lives in these situations.
  • Chase Environment: This factor includes things like the time of day and general location. A high-speed chase during the day or evening when other cars are on the road and other people are on the sidewalk is extremely dangerous under any circumstances. Likewise a pursuit through a populated area is much more dangerous than a pursuit through a remote area.
  • Pursuit Tactics: Some officers use aggressive and dangerous tactics during chases. A PIT (precise immobilization technique) maneuver is a good example. A pursuing officer rams a fleeing suspect’s car, causing the driver to careen out of control.

Violations of formal and informal policies are also evidence of negligence in these situations. Many law enforcement agencies have strict anti-pursuit policies. Other times, a dispatcher gives officers instructions, like “do not pursue” or “pursue with extreme caution.”

The Seat Belt Defense in South Carolina

Reckless high-speed chases kill and injure many more people than reckless police shootings. Wrecks that involve victims who weren’t wearing a seat belt are even more common.

The so-called seat belt defense varies significantly in different states. In some jurisdictions, victims who don’t wear seat belts cannot sue responsible drivers and obtain compensation. But in the Palmetto State, failure to wear a seat belt is inadmissible to prove contributory negligence or reduce the victim’s damages.

This position may seem odd, because it goes against principles of personal responsibility. However, S.C. Stat. Code § 56-5-6540(C) is consistent with other provisions of state law. Wearing or not wearing a seat belt is completely unrelated to the cause of a crash. Furthermore, under state law, victims don’t have a duty to mitigate (voluntarily reduce) their damages before their injury. Otherwise, Columbia personal injury attorneys would have to wear crash helmets and fireproof suits when they drive back and forth to work.

Compensation in a vehicle collision claim usually includes money for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering.

Reach Out to a Hard-Working Richland County Lawyer

Injury victims are entitled to significant compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Columbia, contact the Marc Brown Law Firm. The sooner you reach out to us, the sooner we start fighting for you.

Source:

thestate.com/news/traffic/article271797332.html

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Marc Brown

Marc Brown Law Firm

Meet Attorney Marc Brown

Marc Brown is an experienced personal injury and civil rights attorney serving clients throughout South Carolina and Georgia. Marc is motivated by the challenge of helping his clients solve their complex legal issues, and most importantly, he obtains favorable results. He is a caring and conscientious attorney who brings the experience and resources of a larger firm to his practices in Sumter and Columbia, SC.

A Personable & Dedicated South Carolina Attorney

As someone who has always had a keen sense of right and wrong and a desire to achieve excellence and fairness in all things, pursuing law was a natural career choice. After graduating with honors from the prestigious Emory University School of Law, Marc went on to become a dedicated litigator who focuses on personal injury, workers’ compensation, and criminal defense cases.

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Choosing an attorney is a very important decision, but it can be difficult. When you choose the Marc Brown Law Firm, we do everything we can to keep you informed, put your needs first, and to make sure justice is served. Here are just a few reasons to choose us:

The Right Experience

Attorney Marc Brown has experience that matters. Prior to opening this law firm, Marc spent nearly a half a decade defending big insurance companies and large corporations in personal injury and commercial litigation matters across the United States. Marc knows exactly how insurance companies and corporations evaluate claims and what they look at when deciding to increase the amount they are willing to pay. He thinks outside the box to find additional or hidden opportunities for favorable results.

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After being injured in a serious accident, you need to focus on getting better. Serious accidents can be hard on an individual, physically and emotionally. The Marc Brown Law Firm is dedicated to fight for you while you recover. If you are unable to travel to our office for any reason, we will personally visit you! Just give us a call to talk whenever you may be in need of assistance. We’re here to help.

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We work hard so that our clients receive the justice they deserve! When necessary, Attorney Marc Brown retains investigators, engineers, and other experts to help prove your case. Insurance companies are big, but Marc is experienced and resourceful. We fight for each of our clients so that you can receive the maximum compensation available to you.

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We work on a contingency fee basis, which means there are no upfront cost to clients. You only pay lawyer fees when we win your case. This also means that your attorney is only paid a percentage of what is recovered for you. The Marc Brown Law Firm has a vested interest in ensuring that each of our clients receive the maximum recovery available to them. We are determined to fight tirelessly to recover for you.

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