Under Nebraska law, if an innocent person is injured as the result of a police pursuit, the political subdivision employing the officer(s) engaged in the pursuit are strictly liable to the injured person. Specifically, Nebraska Revised Statute §13-911 governs the liability to third parties as result of vehicular pursuit by an officer and imposes strict liability on the part of a political subdivision when: (1) a claimant suffers death, injury, or property damage; (2) such death, injury, or property damage is proximately caused by the actions of a pursuing law enforcement officer employed by the political subdivision; and (3) the claimant is an innocent third party.
The statute further defines a “vehicular pursuit” as an active attempt by a law enforcement officer operating a motor vehicle to apprehend one or more occupants of another motor vehicle, when the driver of the fleeing vehicle is or should be aware of such attempt and is resisting apprehension by maintaining or increasing his or her speed, ignoring the officer, or attempting to elude the officer while driving at speeds in excess of those reasonable and proper under the conditions. Neb.Rev.St. § 13-911(5).
Attorneys at Locher Pavelka Dostal Braddy & Hammes, LLC have represented several individuals involved in police pursuits, and are familiar with the nature and type of discovery that is necessary in these types of matters. Further, because police pursuit actions are governed under the Political Subdivisions Tort Claims Act, there are certain requirements that must be met in order to properly present a claim.
Should you have any questions concerning a law enforcement pursuit, please contact us.