Buffalo, TX asked in Car Accidents, Personal Injury and Criminal Law for Texas

Q: Is is it legal for an officer to use their vehicle to stop a motorcycle from fleeing?

A few years back there was a cop who slammed into my brother in order to keep him from getting away. My brother didnt file a lawsuit because he was afraid they would keep him incarcerated longer. But now he suffers from really bad headaches and was recently diagnosed with arthritis in his neck and he is 35 yrs old. He is mentally unstable because he has PTSD. He has alot of issues when he comes in contact with the officer that crashed into him. Is there anything he can do about what happened or is it too late?

2 Lawyer Answers
Hon. Richard W. B. Davis
Hon. Richard W. B. Davis
Answered
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Bryan, TX
  • Licensed in Texas

A: In Texas, it is lawful for police officers to use their vehicle to block an evading vehicle. In fact, sometimes they lay down “stop strips” in the road to pop the tires of evading vehicles.

Regarding your brother’s injuries, if it happened more than two years ago, there’s probably nothing else they can do because of the statute of limitations.

Kiele Linroth Pace agrees with this answer

Kiele Linroth Pace
Kiele Linroth Pace
Answered
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Austin, TX
  • Licensed in Texas

A: The officer was almost certainly legally justified in using force to arrest your brother and the case would not be prosecutable anyway after two years. Furthermore, if anyone had been killed during a police chase, including the officer, your brother could have been facing life in prison for felony murder.

That said, there is an entirely separate legal system called Civil Law where people sue for damages rather than seek convictions for crimes. That is NOT my practice area so I can't advise you on whether a lawsuit is appropriate. I would ask a Personal Injury attorney for that type of information.

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