Colquitt County Crash Leaves Tifton Man Dead, Two Others Hurt
Holidays are generally an enjoyable time for friends and family to gather for good food and fun. However, the period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day can be an exceptionally dangerous time for travelers on Georgia highways and elsewhere throughout the country. Unfortunately, one Tifton man’s family and two other families are dealing with the aftermath of a fatal crash that occurred on December 23rd in Colquitt County.
According to the Georgia State Patrol, there was a crash between two automobiles at the intersection of GA 35 and 133. At the time of the collision, Colquitt County deputies were chasing a Kia that was going north in the southbound lanes of GA 35. Ultimately, the Kia ended up hitting the passenger side of an Altima at the intersection of GA 133. The occupants of the Kia did not have on seatbelts and the driver, a 31-year-old man, died from his injuries on the 24th. In addition, the passenger in the Kia and the driver of the Altima sustained injuries. Authorities are still investigating the collision.
Our Tifton car accident attorney hears of scenarios like this all too often. Still, it is not uncommon for victims and their families to wonder what their legal rights are regarding police chases and the injuries and fatalities that stem from them. If you have been injured or have lost a loved one due to a police chase, contact a Tifton car accident attorney to discuss your rights and options under Georgia law.
Police Chases: Who Can Be Held Responsible for Damages, Injuries and Fatalities That Occur?
While we still do not know all of the details of the crash mentioned above, it is safe to say that police officers are supposed to “protect and serve” the community in general. Doing so typically means not putting the public at risk of injury and/or death. Still, there are a number of factors to think about when considering who can be held legally responsible for damages stemming from a motor vehicle accident.
The Police Officers Who Were Chasing the Vehicle
For an officer to be held responsible for damages that occur during a police chase, your Tifton car accident attorney must look into the policies governing the police department involved. For example, do they have a policy that says police chases are prohibited? If so, the officer who disregarded the rules and policies may be responsible for any resulting harm that occurred from that policy violation.
If there is no policy in place regarding chases that restricts the officer’s use of discretion when it comes to chases, the department may face liability if the officer acted negligently while pursuing the vehicle. Further, in some rare instances, if the department did not properly train the officer on how to perform chases/pursuits, the department itself may be held legally liable.
The Person Being Chased
The individual being chased may be held responsible for damages, injuries and fatalities in certain instances. We all know that drivers, in general, owe a duty to others on the road to keep them safe when traveling. That said, the unfortunate incident discussed above involved a driver who was traveling in the wrong direction on the roadway. While we don’t know why or what happened to cause that to occur, the driver could be held responsible for damages, particularly since he refused to stop and appeared to show no concern for others in the area.