Filing a Civil Suit Against Police

filing a civil suit against police

A police officer’s job is important for preserving law and order in any given community. Law enforcement officers in Orlando have a duty to protect and serve the city’s residents, and in the course of their duties face unpredictable and sometimes threatening situations. Encounters between police officers and citizens can be highly stressful, particularly when citizens are caught breaking the law or being pursued in connection to a crime. Sometimes, police officers trying to get a situation under control go too far.

Police misconduct is a growing concern amongst communities nationwide. A person who has been hurt during a police encounter may have grounds for a civil suit against police who take matters into their own hands. Victims of excessive force may also hold officers accountable for hurting them. If you believe you may have a claim against law enforcement officers in Orlando, be sure to discuss your case with an attorney.

Understanding Police Misconduct and Excessive Force

Instances of police misconduct, which may include the excessive use of force, can cause unnecessary physical and emotional damage. An officer commits misconduct when he or she violates a citizen’s civil rights during the course of his or her duties. The use of excessive force occurs when police use more than the minimum amount of force necessary to protect themselves or others from harm.

Instances of police misconduct, of which excessive force is one example, are grounds for a civil suit against police officers. Law enforcement personnel may also be held accountable if they cause an accident or commit another negligent act that causes a person to sustain an injury. A competent personal injury lawyer who understands the necessary process to pursue a claim against government officials can help you determine the appropriate course of action to receive justice.

What is a “Notice of Claim?”

If you decide to pursue a civil suit against a police officer or department for a personal injury claim, you must first notify them. A notice of claim is a tort claim that lets the police officer or department against whom you seek to file a claim that you will be pursuing legal action in regards to your incident. This notice provides the details of your accident, injuries, and request for damages.

Sometimes, the police or government agency responsible for your injury attempt to settle the matter with a monetary offer. Individuals offered a settlement should discuss the award with their attorneys before accepting any offers. Remember, the police are looking out for their own best interests and want to resolve your matter as quickly as possible.

Standard of Proof for Injury Claims Against Police Officers

The standard of proof for injuries incurred from a police encounter are no different from that of any other injury claim. To demonstrate that an officer is responsible for your injury, you must show:

  1. The officer had a duty of care
  2. The officer failed to meet the duty of care
  3. Your injury was a direct result of the officer’s failure to abide by the duty of care

It may be more difficult to hold a police officer responsible for his negligence simply because police officers have some leeway in their performance of their duties. If the officer was acting within the normal scope of his or her responsibilities when you got hurt, he may not be liable for your injuries.

Other Actions You May Take Against Police

Aside from pursuing a claim against an individual police officer in Orlando, you may need to file a complaint with the police department he or she works for and a report with the state Attorney General or the Department of Justice. It might be beneficial or even necessary to take these actions before pursuing your personal injury claim. Talk to your personal injury lawyer before filing a claim so you can pursue the best course of action.

If you have been hurt by a police officer in Orlando, you have the right to hold him or her accountable for going beyond the call of duty and causing you pain and suffering. You have the right to pursue compensation for your injuries. Contact the Umansky Law Firm to work with an attorney who has considerable experience filing government injury claims. Call (407) 228-3838 at any time.