When drivers get behind the wheel of a car, they are accepting a certain amount responsibility and owe a certain duty to others drivers and passengers on the road. If those same drivers acts recklessly or negligently and causes harm to another as a result of their behavior, then the drivers can be liable for those damages. Especially when the irresponsible and reckless driving is done knowing full well that it puts others at risk.
This dangerous behavior recently played out in Baltimore during a police chase. A driver was fleeing from the police when he crashed into a pickup truck and left a mangled wreck of cars and others injured.
According to the authorities, an officer approached the man's car on suspicion of a possible drug deal. That is when the driver tried to hit the officer and then took off in his car. As he sped through the streets, he eventually ran a red light and hit the truck. The chase didn't stop there. The suspect then tried to get away on foot. Police eventually apprehended the man.
The scariest part of the whole ordeal -- the suspect tried to flee the police with a woman and 1-year-old child in his car. The driver put their lives at risk. Luckily, the child was not injured but the woman suffered an injury to her arm.
The suspect was taken to the hospital but did not have any serious injuries. There is no word on whether anyone in the pickup truck was injured.
The suspect put many people in harms ways by speeding through the neighborhood and city streets. He put his passengers at risk, including a young child, but he could have hurt or killed any number of people. It makes no difference that the driver's actions were initiated by a police chase. If anyone breaks the traffic laws by speeding and running red lights and hurts someone in an eventual car accident, the driver can be held liable through a civil action.
Source: The Baltimore Sun, "Man fleeing police crashes into vehicle in South Baltimore," Justin Fenton, June 21, 2013