Police demeanor can quickly escalate in the heat of the moment, and some officers violate the rights of civilians or act negligently and cause a thoughtless injury or death. According to Mapping Police Violence, in the entire year of 2018, there were only 23 days in which police did not kill someone.
We’re supposed to abide by law enforcing organizations, but we must also hold our security accountable when they break the law. It’s advised you contact an attorney right away if you believe an officer has caused you or your loved one injury or death.
Personal Injury Attorney in Los Angeles
To hold law enforcement to high standards, we have to keep their actions in check. Yarian Accident & Injury Lawyers, APC understands how frustrating and confusing it is to be injured by the men and women who are hired to protect us. As your legal counsel, Yarian Accident & Injury Lawyers, APC will put up a fight against the officer, who caused your pain and suffering and ensure they are held accountable.
Call (818) 459-4999 to schedule a consultation. Levik Yarian can discuss your situation and build a case around it. Yarian Accident & Injury Lawyers, APC represent clients in areas such as Los Angeles County and Tulare County.
Overview of Police Misconduct
- Suing California Police for Misconduct
- Are Wrongful Death Claims Heard in State or Federal Court?
- What is Qualified Immunity?
- Additional Resources
Suing California Police for Misconduct
When pursuing a police misconduct case, a notice of claim must be filed with the police department within six months of the incident to preserve your right to sue. This claim does not mean you have filed a lawsuit. Instead, it notifies the government you plan to file suit shortly. You have six months from the date of the notice and one year from the date of your injuries to submit a lawsuit against the police department. The sooner you act, the better.
If you have been arrested and are awaiting your first court date, prosecutors may decide to charge you with a crime. If this happens, your best course of action is to go through criminal proceedings before filing a civil lawsuit. Otherwise, you will need as much evidence regarding the incident as possible. Write down everything you remember about the event. You should also contact any witness and document their testimonies.
Take photos of any injuries or damage caused by the incident and preserve clothing or other objects stained with blood. Also, keep paper records of clinical diagnoses and medical treatments following the police confrontation.
If your case succeeds, the court will grant you economical and non-economic damages for your injuries. Economic damages are designed to cover damages with a monetary value such as medical bills and therapy expenses. Non-economic damages, on the other hand, do not have a monetary value, and they are used to supplement damages such as suffering and mental anguish.
Filing a Wrongful Death Claim Against Law Enforcement
Mapping Police Violence data shows police departments who implemented shooting as a last resort decreased their killings by 25%. Other methods also show a similar decrease in the number of killings. The data lets us know that other police officers who do decide to kill are making lousy judgment calls left and right.
When someone dies because of negligence or an intentional act, the law allows individual surviving family members to seek monetary compensation for their losses through a wrongful death lawsuit. Filing a wrongful death case against a specific police officer will also mean filing against the police department where the officer(s) is employed.
The reason behind filing the lawsuit will determine if the case is reviewed in a federal or state court. For instance, a claim involving an officer driving recklessly on the job and killing someone is state court ruled. On the other hand, a suit alleging an officer violated the Fourth Amendment and used excessive force can end up in a federal court.
Your loved one’s death could be the result of either negligence or an unlawful act. Negligence is considered a failure to show reasonable care to prevent harm. The most common criminal action used by police in a wrongful death lawsuit is excessive force. There are no definitions of excessive force under federal law, so it’s up for interpretation by a jury.
What is Qualified Immunity?
Many public servants, including law enforcement officers, are protected from civil lawsuits by the doctrine of qualified immunity. Claims covered under this doctrine include:
- Any assertion for money damages
- Allegations of federal or constitutional rights violation
- Injunctive relief
- Declaratory relief
Qualified immunity prevents plaintiffs from recovering compensatory damages in a civil lawsuit. The only exception is when the police officer violates an established law or constitutional right while on duty. If an officer is sued for excessive force, but they allege to have followed department procedures, they can be exempt from the lawsuit.
The court will do the following when determining whether a cop is entitled to qualified immunity:
- Identify the right allegedly violated
- Determine if this right is an established one
- Determine if a reasonable officer believed their conduct was unlawful
This doctrine is rather vague, and many believe it to be unlawful. Qualified immunity is usually applied in the pre-trial phase and implicates a plaintiff’s right to a jury trial on contested issues or facts.
Mapping Police Violence – Visit Mapping Police Violence.com to view data on police killings in the United States. You can find out the rate of which officers are held accountable, view data by the police department, and view national police violence trends. Mapping Police Violence is a research group that collects comprehensive data on police violence.
Fourth Amendment | United States Constitution – Follow the link provided to read the constitutional amendment protecting Americans from police brutality. You can also gain access to other constitutional amendments. The amendment is on the Cornell Law School website.
Personal Injury Lawyer in LA County
We cannot turn a blind eye to injustice when a law enforcement officer commits an unlawful act. Yarian Accident & Injury Lawyers, APC is here to help. Levik Yarian is a personal injury and wrongful death attorney who advocates for those who deserve justice.
The attorneys at Yarian Accident & Injury Lawyers, APC will investigate every aspect of your case and aggressively fight on your behalf. You can call (818) 459-4999 to schedule a free consultation. We assist clients in areas such as Burbank, Los Angeles, Visalia, Riverside, Fresno, Irvine, and San Bernardino.
Yarian Accident & Injury Lawyers Burbank Office
700 N Central Ave Suite 470
Burbank, CA 91203