Chakmakis Personal Injury Lawyers won a $1,043,800.50 court award on September 8, 2016. The Fresno Superior Court awarded the million dollar judgment to Chakmakis’ client for injuries to his knees, arm, eye, head, and back. The car accident client was hit by a speeding car involved in a police chase at night on city surface streets. The 2014 automobile v. automobile crash caused major injuries including: right knee torn LCL with surgical repair August 2014; left forearm fracture with open fracture reduction; both clavicles (left and right) fractured; corneal abrasion of right eye; moderate traumatic brain injury; with multiple lacerations, abrasions and contusions to face, head, body and both arms. This was a driver’s side T bone type collision where the defendant driver failed to yield at an intersection. The client’s car was a total loss. The client was forced to undergo multiple surgeries, but fortunately he is back to work and able continue his life as a father and husband for his family. We hope this large personal injury award by this judge sends a message that police car chases have financial consequences and cause major physical injuries, on top of criminal penalties. This is an all too common scenario where someone is trying to get away from the police and just drives through stop signs and red lights without slowing, stopping, or even checking for oncoming traffic. The result is a high speed car crash, and too often major injuries that cause permanent life changes and sometimes even wrongful death. The California Office of Traffic Safety reported 3,107 automobile crash fatalities in 2013 and 3,074 car deaths in 2014. See http://www.ots.ca.gov/Media_and_Research/Data_and_Statistics.asp
Motorcycle fatalities increased 12.1 percent from 463 in 2013 to 519 in 2014. Motorcycle fatalities per 100,000 motorcycle registrations increased from 54 in 2013 to 60 in 2014. The percentage of motorcycle operators killed with a BAC of 0.08 or greater increased from 23 percent in 2013 to 28 percent in 2014. The percentage of motorcycle operators killed that were improperly licensed decreased from 33 percent in 2013 to 32 percent in 2014. Teen motor vehicle fatalities (age 16-19) increased 1.9 percent from 216 in 2013 to 220 in 2014. Teen driver fatalities (age 16-19) increased 26.4 percent from 72 in 2013 to 91 in 2014. Males make up 76.9 percent of teen driver fatalities. Pedestrian fatalities decreased 5 percent from 734 in 2013 to 697 in 2014. Pedestrian fatalities age 65 and older increased 2.2 percent from 179 in 2013 to 183 in 2014. Bicycle fatalities decreased 12.9 percent from 147 in 2013 to 128 in 2014. For more information see: https://www.chp.ca.gov/Programs-Services/Services-Information/SWITRS-Internet-Statewide-Integrated-Traffic-Records-System and http://chakmakislaw.com/articles/
Nearly a third of Los Angeles police pursuits end in traffic collisions, and two-thirds of those crashes result in injuries to other drivers, suspects, officers, and to innocent bystanders, according to the Los Angeles Police Department and NBC News. ABC News reports that more bystanders are injured or killed during high-speed police chases than by gun fire. More than 10,000 people have been injured in California and over 300 people killed because of police chases in the last ten years, according to statistics from the California Highway Patrol. Nationally, an estimated 300 people die each year as a result of high speed police chases.