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

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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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


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 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.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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