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What to Do When You Sustain Injuries Due to Police Misconduct

This content about police misconduct was written by a third party and does not represent the views or opinions of Haddad & Sherwin LLP, nor should it be construed as a complete and accurate statement of the law or as legal advice.  For better information about this topic, please contact Haddad & Sherwin LLP.

Light is being shed on an increasing amount of police misconduct cases all across the country. Cases involving citizens being injured or killed by police officers without cause, and even innocent bystanders being arrested. Law enforcement agents are not above the law, in fact, they are bound by a code of conduct. When they fail to follow these practices, they may and should be held responsible for any resulting injuries.

If you’ve had an encounter with the police that has resulted in bodily harm, seek the advice of a lawyer as soon as possible. You are possibly entitled to compensation for your injuries.

What police officers can and can’t do in the line of duty

Police officers have an immense role and responsibility to society as they are tasked with protecting the citizens of this country; this affords them certain powers. But police officers are still required to respect an individual’s Constitutional rights and other rights under state laws when taking them into custody, to name a few: the right to due process and protection against unreasonable search and seizure.

Under the Fourth Amendment, the use of excessive force – which usually results in injury and, in some cases, death – constitutes an unreasonable seizure. Therefore, if a person is injured by police as the result of excessive force, a case can be made against the officer based on a civil rights violation.

I was injured by the police, now what?

To give yourself the best chance at recovering compensation for injuries resulting from police misconduct, you must take swift action and gather all the proof you can of the unfortunate event.

Examples of evidence that is useful in a case involving police misconduct may include:

  • Photo or video proof of the arrest
  • Testimony from any witnesses at the scene
  • Documents that prove the existence of the injuries and any medical treatment or rehabilitation that was needed

Contact a California police misconduct lawyer

Once you have gathered all the necessary evidence, request the services of an attorney with a proven track record in police misconduct cases. He or she will assess the information and inform you of all legal recourses available to you. Although this may seem like a daunting process, a skilled attorney will know how to handle the defenses that the defendant may raise, such as qualified immunity.

Most police misconduct cases are filed as civil rights lawsuits against the officer who engaged in the misconduct or the agency to which they belong. Civil rights lawsuits such as a Section 1983 Claim allow you to recover monetary damages. Under a Section 1983 Claim, you may also request an injunction to prevent future misconduct, thereby protecting others from a similar encounter.

Haddad & Sherwin LLP has a long, successful track record winning wrongful death and other serious civil rights claims for police and jail officer misconduct, throughout Northern and Central California.  Call or email us for a free consultation.

This content was written by a third party and does not represent the views or opinions of Haddad & Sherwin LLP, nor should it be construed as a complete and accurate statement of the law or as legal advice.  For better information about this topic, please contact Haddad & Sherwin LLP.