Earlier this week in Prince George’s County, a teen was killed when he crashed his dirt bike into a tree after running from police. The family of the teen has recently filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Prince George’s County, seeking $20 million in damages.
According to a report by the Washington Post, two teens were riding on a Kawasaki dirt bike in an apartment complex when an officer began to tail them. The officer claims that he suspected the pair were involved in a recent armed robbery. As the officer initiated a traffic stop, the teens fled. The officer pursued the teens across county lines and into Washington DC. Once in DC, the teens crashed the motorcycle into a tree. The driver of the motorcycle died as a result.
The deceased teen’s family is claiming that the officer did not have the authority to pursue the teen, citing to recent changes in Prince George’s County police protocol. Pursuant to police protocol, an officer can only chase a fleeing suspect when he or she suspects the suspect of certain enumerated crimes. While riding a dirt bike on public roads is illegal, it is not one of the crimes listed. Moreover, the officer did not have police authority in the District of Columbia, once the teens entered that jurisdiction.
Wrongful Death Actions in Maryland
The family of the deceased teen is seeking monetary compensation for their loss through a wrongful death action. A wrongful death action is essentially a negligence action that is brought by the family of the deceased. In essence, the claim asserts that, due to the negligent actions of the defendant, their loved one was killed.
Proving a wrongful death action can be tricky, depending on the circumstances. This is especially the case when it is against an government entity, since that entity may have governmental immunity from lawsuits, depending on the specific circumstances.
With that said, there are ways that governmental immunity can be waived, and in such cases the government is treated as any other party to a lawsuit. In any event, the best way to proceed if you have lost a loved one in an accident is to consult with a dedicated Washington DC accident attorney as soon as possible. With an attorney’s assistance, you will gain a better understanding of the relevant law applicable to your case and will be able to make a more informed decision about what is best for you and your family.
Have You Lost a Loved One in a Maryland Accident?
If you have recently lost a loved one in a DC accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation for your loss through a DC wrongful death action. To learn more about what you would be expected to prove, and to see if you may have a case, contact one of the dedicated attorneys at the DC personal injury law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC. Click here, or call 410-654-3600 to schedule a free initial consultation with a dedicated DC personal injury attorney.
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