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Can the Philadelphia police be held liable for injury to bystanders in a police chase or pursuit?

A: Yes, the police could be held liable for bystander injury if the officers were negligent in some way, for example, violating department police chase protocol. However, each case is unique and a qualified accident and injury lawyer will be able to assess the facts of the case and offer advice on how to proceed.

Fast Moving Police CarIn general, police chases in Pennsylvania have a crash rate of roughly 30% and injuries occur in about 7% of all Pennsylvania police crashes. In chase situations ending in crashes, the injuries can be catastrophic, considering the often high rates of speed reached in chase situations. Pennsylvania law specifically recognizes the right of a bystander to sue a police department for injuries or death resulting from a police chase.  However, there must be negligence on the part of the police department. In addition, because police departments such as the Philadelphia police department are local agencies/government agencies, there are additional requirements you must meet in order to bring a lawsuit for your injuries or for the death of a loved one.

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If you’d like to have your case reviewed by our Philadelphia, Pennsylvania personal injury lawyers, call 215.925.4451. Our lawyers are available for a free, no obligation legal consultation.

*This website does not provide legal advice. Every case is unique and it is important to get a qualified, expert legal opinion prior to making any decisions about your case.  See the full disclaimer at the bottom of this page.

The personal injury lawyers at Schwartz & Blackman handle cases in the Pennsylvania and New Jersey area:

  • PA: Berks County, Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County, Philadelphia County, Allentown, Lehigh Valley, Norristown, Philadelphia
  • NJ: Atlantic County, Burlington County, Camden County, Gloucester County, Mercer County, Middlesex County, Monmouth County, Camden, Cherry Hill, New Jersey shore cities




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    Pennsylvania Office
    The Pavilion
    261 Old York Rd., Suite 504
    Jenkintown, PA 19046
    Tel: (215) 925-4451
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    New Jersey Office
    1415 Route 70 East
    Cherry Hill, NJ 08034
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