Can You Sue for Injuries Resulting From Police Brutality?

Can You Sue for Injuries Resulting From Police Brutality?

Police brutality often occurs when police use more force than necessary to restrain someone. A case in point is when an officer discharges a weapon when there is no imminent threat. Incidents of police brutality usually leave victims with serious injuries and may sometimes lead to death.

Legal Grounds for a Lawsuit

If you are injured by a police officer, you may be able to sue the officer or their department under both state and federal law. Primarily, the Fourth Amendment protects you from unlawful search and seizure. Further, the Civil Rights Act of 1871 empowers victims to sue government officers who violate their civil rights. 

Notably, the two statutes work in different ways. The Fourth Amendment typically creates the freedom from unwarranted government intrusion. However, it may not provide grounds for legal recourse. As such, you may not directly sue the police for violating your Fourth Amendment rights. Section 1983 of the Civil Rights Act, on the other hand, provides the legal framework to enforce your Fourth Amendment rights.

Potential Challenges in Suing for Police Brutality

Since police are legally allowed to use force in the course of their jobs, suing them can be a complex process. For instance, the doctrine of Qualified Immunity shields police officers from liability for actions they commit while on duty. 

Additionally, in civil rights cases, the burden of proof is usually on the plaintiff. This means you have to prove beyond doubt that the officer’s actions were unlawful and caused your injuries. Lastly, victims of police brutality often face threats and intimidation from the police, their associates, and even the public. These threats can take a toll on your mental health, and it’s advisable to report them as soon as you can.

Boost Your Chances

As much as suing law enforcement is challenging, it is not impossible. You can significantly boost your chances of winning the case by documenting your injuries and bringing in some witnesses. Our personal injury attorneys at Morris and Dean in Dalton, GA, are ready to help you get your due compensation. Get in touch with us today!

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