Police officers will sometimes need to use force in order to protect themselves and to ensure cooperation. However there are some times when an officer might cross the line. Under these circumstances, you would have the right to compensation. While police officers are offered a lot of latitude regarding how much force they can use, they are not allowed to jeopardize the physical safety of those they are using force on. Fortunately, it is not that difficult to predict whether you could file a successful lawsuit or receive a settlement.
The Grounds For A Lawsuit Or Settlement
In order to sue for excessive force, you will first need to establish that you have suffered an injury. You will then need to establish that the injury was the result actions taken by the police officer. If it is likely that the injury was the result of actions taken by others, including yourself, it is less likely that you will have a successful lawsuit. For example, if the police officer instructs you to put your hands on your head and to then lay down on the pavement, and you comply, the officer could be sued if he or she is too rough when handcuffing you to the extent where you suffer an injury. Or, if the police officer unnecessarily assaults you while you are complying, this can also be a sign of excessive force.
When You Should Consider Suing
The good news is that you may not have to take the case to court. Police departments would like to have a case settled out of court in order to avoid the negative publicity. With private security companies, it is even more likely that you will receive a settlement. Private security companies do not want the negative publicity and there are also fewer protections under the law for the use of force by a security guard. The amount of force that private security is allowed must be proportional to the amount of force that you used. For example, a security guard is allowed to physically force you off a property. However, if you assault the security guard, he or she is allowed to use force in self-defense.
Receive Legal Assistance
If you are unsure of whether you have a case, it is best to contact a personal injury attorney. Also, if you are a family member of the victim of a police officer or security guard who used legal force, it is recommended that you contact a wrongful death attorney at firms like Spesia & Ayers Attorneys At Law.