Yes, you can file a personal injury claim against a police officer if you are injured as a result of police brutality.
Police officers are supposed to observe a strict code of conduct in the exercise of their duty. They must follow the rules of engagement in interacting with the community. As law enforcers, they must be the first people to uphold the law and respect the legal rights of others, be they suspected criminals or innocent civilians. However, there are instances when police officers, instead of abiding by the law, are the ones violating it.
Police brutality can be committed in many ways such as excessive use of force, inappropriate and abusive language, and use of coercive methods to obtain evidence and all other acts of wanton disregard of basic human rights. These acts can result in physical, mental, and psychological harm. Any person who suffers injuries as a result of police brutality can file a personal injury claim.
The role of police officers in maintaining peace and order in the community is indispensable. They are responsible for keeping the streets safe from criminality. Due to this duty, they have certain privileges, such as carrying weapons and equipment used to apprehend felons, which is not accorded to normal civilians. Moreover, they are authorized to do certain acts which ordinary citizens are prohibited like frisking suspicious persons, hailing vehicles for inspection, or question bystanders to gather information.
Despite these, police officers must still carry out their duties conscientiously. They can only use their weapons when there is an immediate risk to themselves or to the people around them. Even in cases where there is a threat, police officers are supposed to exhaust all peaceful means before resorting to force. And in case there is no other option but to use force, they are still prohibited from using excessive force. For example, a police cannot just taser another person at whim nor can they manhandle even suspects. Any law enforcer who crosses the line is liable for the injury and suffering sustained by the victim. The victim on the other hand is entitled to file a personal injury lawsuit against the offending officer in order to try and receive compensation for the damages and losses he incurred.
Filing a personal injury claim as a result of police brutality can be a complex and long process. There is always the risk of a cover up by fellow police officers. The claimant may not be able to get sufficient evidence if other police officers refrain from giving testimonies. Furthermore, police officers may try to intimidate the claimant and make him retract his complaint. Thus it is important that you enlist the services of a good personal injury lawyer who specializes in police brutality. These personal injury lawyers know the ins and outs of personal injury claims relating to police brutality. They have in depth understanding of the legal process as well as the other out of court issues. The best personal injury lawyers can thwart any dirty tactics by police officers and ensure you have the best chance of making a successful personal injury claim.