Can we pursue a lawsuit against someone who injured my son in a vehicle chase?

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Can we pursue a lawsuit against someone who injured my son in a vehicle chase?

My son was in a car accident. He was joyriding in a vehicle and the owner pursued him in another vehicle and then ran him off the road causing my son to roll the vehicle. He was injured had to have surgery. We want to know if we have any recourse.

Asked on November 27, 2017 under Personal Injury, Colorado

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

It is doubtful that you (or your son, if he is 18 or over; in that instance, he'd have to bring his own case) can recover compensation in this situation. When an injured party was himself at fault, his fault will reduce or even eliminate (if its 50% or more of the fault) his ability to recover. Your son clearly was at fault to a large extent here: 1) he stole a car--that's what joyriding is, when you don't have the owner's permission: theft--and when someone commits a criminal act, since that act was wrongful, they generally are responsible for the consequences of it; 2) he could and should have stopped fleeing when chased--it was negligent or careless on his part to not come to a safe stop when being pursued--since if he had stopped, the injury would not have occured; 3) while you don't indicate this in your question, if he was fleeing in the car, it is likely he was driving fast and/or carelessly at the time. Because he was acting in a criminal fashion and was also acting carelessly, you son's degree of fault likely at least equals the other drivers and will preclude recovering compensation.


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