Can You Sue The Police? What Victims Of Law Enforcement Need To Know

Posted on: 23 July 2021

Government and municipal personnel have certain types of protections against lawsuits. Those entities, though, still have a responsibility to perform their jobs in a way that does not cause undue harm to citizens. There have been several cases in the news lately of citizens filing suit against law enforcement agencies. Some of these suits have resulted in large awards for the victims or their loved ones. To learn more about suing the police, read on.

Understanding Harm Done

Personal injury cases, no matter who you sue, hinge on harm done. You must be able to demonstrate that you were harmed in some way. When it comes to suing the police, the harm done could be physical harm, but it can also be other types of harm. For example, if you were falsely arrested and then released or found innocent, your reputation, your career, your relationships, and many other areas of your life could have suffered harm.

Know Who to Sue

Who harmed you? One of the first things your personal injury lawyer will do is to investigate to find out who was liable for the harm that came to you. State and city laws can affect whether you should sue the city or county, the police force, or target the specific officer who caused the harm. Legal responsibility matters since not everyone is liable for all forms of harm.

Hoops to Jump Over

Suing the police may not be as straightforward as suing, say, the person who hit you from behind while driving because there are certain steps that must be completed before you can actually see your day in court. It's not uncommon for lawsuits to pass before committees, tribunals, hearings, and other waylays before you can take legal action. It's important to understand, however, that no matter how many hoops you have to jump through to obtain justice, you have the right to be compensated for bad treatment at the hands of those who are entrusted to keep you safe.

What Else To Know

Finally, there are a few other things to keep in mind when suing the police. For example, almost all personal injury cases are resolved out of court using a monetary settlement, and this type of case is no different. At any point, even after a trial begins, you can be offered a settlement. Some organizations have immunity against lawsuits, but that is becoming far less common due to all the cases of alleged wrongdoing by law enforcement officers. Conflict with the police, besides false arrest, that might prompt a suit include police brutality, racial profiling, discrimination, and more.

To find out more, speak with a personal injury attorney.


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