Most police officers are committed and ethical. They work a difficult, life-threatening job, and their days are extraordinarily stressful. However, police officers also exercise a great deal of control over the lives of the people they interact with, and an abuse of this power is particularly egregious. The physical, emotional, financial, and legal consequences of police brutality can be staggering. We place a lot of trust in the police and a betrayal of that trust should not go unacknowledged. Here’s what to do if your personal injury is caused by the police.
As a general rule, police officers may only use the degree of force necessary to maintain control of an incident or defend the public from harm. Any use of force falling outside those parameters could be viewed as excessive. Personal injuries resulting from an excessive application of force are actionable. While police officers are guarded by theories of governmental immunity, their protection is not absolute. If your injuries were the direct result of an excessive application of force clearly attributed to the officer in question, your lawsuit will likely stand.
Once your lawsuit is allowed to go forward, it will generally proceed much like any other personal injury lawsuit. Excessive force personal injury lawsuits that are not dismissed under theories of governmental immunity very often settle out of court. Municipalities, governmental agencies, and police officers detest the negative publicity that comes from a high-profile case of police brutality, and will often seek an out-of-court settlement.
By filing a lawsuit against the police, you will likely be up against a city’s own experienced attorneys. These attorneys are well-versed in the processes of governmental law that sometimes involve expert witnesses, multiple medical exams, and potentially lengthy trials. This is why it is imperative that you contact the law offices of Jacoby & Meyers if your personal injury is caused by the police.