Tragedy struck in the North Philadelphia neighborhood of Feltonville on Wednesday, June 10, 2009 when a car that was attempting to escape the scene of a robbery jumped a concrete curb and killed three young children who were outside in front of their home. All three children were under the age of ten. Two men stole a motorcycle at gunpoint . One fled on the stolen motorcycle and the other fled in a car. It appears as if the car was being pursued by police prior to causing this horrific auto accident. In this case, it is unlikely that the fleeing car had a substantial insurance policy that would be available to the victims and their family. In fact, the car may have no insurance at all. As for the motorcycle, stolen vehicles that are insured are not required to provide coverage to accident victims.
In so many cases such as these the victims often are unable to obtain any significant compensation. However, high speed cases sometimes can result in significant awards. Police are required to use a certain degree of care when involved with high speed pursuits. This is especially the case when these chases are through residential neighborhoods. In this case, the chase ended in a neighborhood of row houses were young children are likely to be playing outside, especially in the summer when the weather is warm and the days are long. If police do not adhere to the guidelines they must follow, often the police department can be named as a defendant in a high speed pursuit case.
It is important to obtain all records including log books, radio calls and police handbooks when considering law enforcement liability in a case such as this. Despite the tragic nature of these types of cases, it is important to seek legal representation as soon as possible so witnesses can be interviewed and evidence can be preserved. If you have questions concerning a case such as this, or any other accident injury case, contact the Princeton, New Jersey personal injury law firm of Lependorf & Silverstein for a confidential discussion regarding the facts of your case.