Can You Sue the Police for Injuries in Pennsylvania?
Police officers are expected to perform their duties without causing injuries to the citizens they protect. Unfortunately, many people report injuries each year that are incurred because of encounters with the police. Victims of police brutality often suffer both physical and emotional consequences.
In Pennsylvania, victims of police brutality are permitted to bring personal injury lawsuits and wrongful death lawsuits against offending officers. This allows people who have been injured by police brutality in Pennsylvania to seek compensation for their injuries. These victims will have several legal options to consider before filing a police brutality case. Although, police departments will hire defense lawyers to protect their officers. Our Pennsylvania police brutality lawyers can help fight defense lawyers and recover compensation on your behalf.
If you have been injured because of mistreatment by a Pennsylvania police officer, seek help by calling the Philadelphia police brutality lawyers at The Reiff Law Firm today at (215) 709-6940 for a free case review.
Personal Injury Damages Available in a Pennsylvania Police Brutality Lawsuit
Several types of personal injury damages often stem from instances of police brutality. Some of the injuries may be straightforward to calculate while others are more difficult. Victims of police brutality in Pennsylvania can recover for the following damages suffered because of the incident:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Emotional pain and suffering
- Punitive damages
Medical expenses and lost wages are easier to calculate after an injury. However, the assistance of a Pennsylvania, police brutality lawyer will aid victims in proving damages for emotional pain and suffering. Lastly, punitive damages will only be awarded if the officer’s conduct was malicious or committed with reckless disregard for the victim’s well-being. Punitive damages serve to discourage any similar behavior from Pennsylvania police officers in the future.
Suing a Police Officer for Police Brutality in Pennsylvania
Most civil lawsuits brought against police officers involve some form of police brutality. Police officers are not permitted to use excessive force against an individual when arresting them. In determining whether an officer used excessive force, courts will consider whether the officer used force that was proportional to the threat they faced. This means that police are only authorized to use the requisite force to overcome the situation at hand.
Police brutality can come in many forms. If an individual has suffered any of the following forms of mistreatment during an arrest, they may have a claim for police brutality:
- Physical, sexual, or mental abuse
- Excessive force to make an arrest
- Misuse of tasers
- Misuse of handcuffs
- Failure to render aid to a prisoner
- Failure to feed or give water to prisoners
- Injury or illness from unsanitary conditions while in custody
If an individual has been injured during an arrest, and the police officer caused the injury by using excessive force, the individual may have a personal injury claim against the officer. Proving excessive force can be difficult. Our Pennsylvania personal injury lawyers can ease the stress on victims by gathering evidence to support their claim.
Furthermore, civil lawsuits may be brought against officers for injuries caused by other forms of police negligence. You may be entitled to compensation if you were injured because of a car crash, stray shot, or pedestrian accident caused by cops.
Suing the Police for Wrongful Death in Pennsylvania
In extreme cases, officers are permitted to use deadly force if a suspect is using deadly force against the officer. However, many police shootings, deaths from tasers, choke holds, and other forms of restraint are unfortunately not justified. Families of victims who have died because of police brutality or negligence may have a claim for wrongful death. Determining whether a police officer’s use of deadly force was justified is a complicated task. A Pennsylvania police brutality lawyer can help victims’ families determine if they have a valid claim for wrongful death.
Suing a Police Officer for Injuries During False Arrest in Pennsylvania
When individuals are taken into custody without legal authority, it is known as a false arrest. False arrests are another form of police brutality, especially when they result in injuries. The victims of false arrest can seek sometimes seek civil damages against the police for damages suffered because of their false arrest.
These damages can include the humiliation of being restrained, physical injuries caused by the arrest, and even damage to the victim’s reputation. Bucks County personal injury lawyers can assist victims of false arrest in seeking compensation for their injuries.
Why Do I Need A Lawyer for My Police Brutality Lawsuit in Pennsylvania?
A lot goes into suing a police officer for police brutality. Police officers will often have experienced defense attorneys protecting their interests in any police brutality case. Furthermore, it can be very difficult to prove that an officer used excessive force. This is because police officers are protected by qualified immunity, a judicially created doctrine that can shield officers from being held personally liable for damages they cause. Facing the police department’s defense attorneys is a difficult task to take on alone. Our Pennsylvania police brutality lawyers will help you gather evidence and build a strong case for you.
Furthermore, there may be various steps you have to take to file with agencies to seek compensation that way before you can file a lawsuit. Your Easton, PA personal injury attorney can manage your case at every stage and help you get your day in court.
Statute of Limitations for Police Brutality Claims in Pennsylvania
The statute of limitations for police brutality cases in Pennsylvania is the same are it is for personal injury cases: two years. People who have been injured because of police brutality have two years from the time of the injury to file a lawsuit. Furthermore, when suing a government agency, injured parties in Pennsylvania must provide written notice of their claim to the relevant government agency within six months of the injury’s occurrence. Your Hershey, PA personal injury lawyers can help you comply with any filing deadlines.
If You Have Been Injured Because of Police Brutality in Pennsylvania, Our Lawyers Can Help
If you have been injured because of mistreatment by a Pennsylvania police officer, seek assistance by calling the Pennsylvania police brutality lawyers at The Reiff Law Firm today at (215) 709-6940 for a free case review.