Archive for injured in car accident

Injured Woman Sues Police after High Speed Chase

Wilkes-Barre, PA

A Pennsylvania woman is suing both the city and two local police departments after being severely injured in what she claims was a mishandled car chase. During a Friday afternoon rush hour back in November, 2014, Donna Jackson’s car was allegedly struck by the vehicle of another victim of the three-car pile-up, sustaining what she claims are serious injuries.

The chase began after (now convicted) Douglas Johnson, 54, stole a 2007 dodge sedan from a local gas station. Several days later, local police spotted Johnson driving the stolen vehicle, and tried unsuccessfully to make him pull over. Sources say that Johnson then drove “dangerously and erratically,” over streets and sidewalks, with the police in hot pursuit. The chase ended when Johnson drove through a red light at the Wilkes-Barre intersection of River and West Market Streets, hitting a bystander’s car, which then hit the plaintiff’s vehicle. Jackson’s complaint states that, “Despite Johnson’s ‘aggressive driving actions,’ [the police] pursued Johnson, exceeded applicable speed limits, disregarded traffic signs and signals, failed to follow the rules of the road, and improperly pursued Johnson Jackson-high-speed-pursuit-quotethrough residential neighborhoods and commercial districts — on a Friday afternoon during rush hour.”

Jackson asserts that her alleged injuries, including “a traumatic brain injury, brain bleeding, memory loss, herniated disks, sight problems, and pain,” occurred as a direct result of police “improperly initiating and negligently maintaining the high-speed pursuit of Johnson in a manner inconsistent with policy, procedures, and law.” An affidavit filed by the police pursuer, Hanover Township police Officer Thomas Farver, primarily agrees with Jackson’s account of the geography and circumstances of the chase, but Jackson’s lawsuit goes further in assigning blame to the police for “improperly” entering the high-speed chase.

Representatives for the defendants, including spokeswoman for the city of Wilkes-Barre, Tyler Ryan, and Hanover Township police Chief Albert L. Walker, have not publicly commented on the lawsuit, each citing the grounds that it would be “improper” to comment on “pending litigation.”

The lawsuit, presented by Jackson’s attorney, Neil T. O’Donnell, seeks damages over $50,000 for what she claims has been a grueling process of medical treatment for her sustained injuries, as well as lost income, pain, and suffering. The complaint indicates that a full-recovery might not be possible for Jackson.

7 Tips if You’ve Been Injured

Many people feel that America has become too eager to sue. Those same people often change their minds when they are faced with mounting medical bills and they must miss work or live in constant pain because they have been injured through the negligence of others.

It is not fair to have your life path changed, perhaps permanently, because someone else was delinquent in some way. Here are seven tips to guide you in finding someone to offer legal advice if you have been injured through the negligence of other people:

  1. Use referrals to find a good personal injury attorney. Not all attorneys have the same skill set, so talk to people and find the best attorney for your case.
  2. Don’t just assume that your injury was just one of those things. The legal definition of negligence is best decided by a legal professional. Most don’t charge for an initial consultation. Find out if your injury falls under a category of negligence before giving up and moving on.
  3. Consult a physician as early in the process as possible. Have documentation that your pain and suffering were caused by a specific situation so your attorney can link your discomfort to the event. It is in some people’s nature to try to tough things out when injured. An injury when someone else is to blame is not the time to do that. Delaying a visit to a doctor could give the other side evidence that the injury happened at a later date.
  4. Work upon the advice of your attorney to determine the amount you should seek. Sometimes the injured person either believes an injury might be an ATM, or they might only consider actual medical bills. An experienced attorney can guide the injured part by evaluating medical bills, work missed at the time of the injury and in the future, pain and suffering, and possibly altered lifestyle and level of negligence by the other party. All of these issues are important in finding an amount to pursue.
  5. Don’t speak to the at fault party’s insurance company until you have retained an attorney. Consider the job of the other side’s attorney: They seek to make as few and as small payments as possible. They will ask questions that sound innocent to a layman, but can influence the amount their client has to pay in the event their client is at fault. Don’t believe a conversation with an insurance company is something you can handle without an attorney to accompany you.
  6. Ask your attorney if they will be the person handling your case, and if not, ensure the person who will be handling the case has done this kind of work before.
  7. Find out how much of a settlement your attorney will take. You need to have the attorney’s share clarified before signing on with them, and find out if you owe money if you are not awarded money by the court.

No one wants to be hurt. If you are, there are contingencies that will allow the injured party to receive compensation to protect themselves and their loved ones. If you find yourself in that situation, seek out a qualified attorney before you go forward.