Washington, D.C. law enforcement officers are hired to keep citizens safe in the city, but sometimes an officer acts outside the scope of his duty. When this happens, your civil rights may be violated, or, in severe cases, you may suffer physical injuries. Federal and Washington, D.C. laws –including the Constitution of the United States –protect your civil rights, and if these rights have been violated, you need an aggressive attorney from S.L. England, PLLC, to fight for you.
Types of Police Misconduct
Police misconduct can take many forms, but commonly includes:
- False arrest: You are arrested without probable cause.
- Racial profiling: You are stopped, questioned, and/or taken into custody based on your race.
- Unlawful search: Your vehicle or your person is searched without probable cause or your consent.
- Failure to intervene: An officer had the opportunity to protect you from violence or crime, and failed to intervene.
- Excessive force: An officer uses more force than necessary to detain or arrest you, which may result in physical injuries or, in extreme cases, death.
- Negligent police chases: An officer acts negligently or recklessly while pursuing a vehicle, causing injury.
Filing a Lawsuit
If you sustained physical injuries or psychological trauma after a police misconduct incident, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the law enforcement agency or the officer individually.
To file a civil lawsuit, your attorney must prove four points. First, that the officer had a duty to protect you, and second, that the officer breached that duty with their conduct and did not protect you. Third, the officer's breach of duty caused the damages, and fourth, the amount of compensatory damages you suffered because of the officer's breach of duty.
If you are injured because of police misconduct, seek medical attention immediately and keep all documentation from your doctor.
As soon as possible, consult an experienced attorney. If you have been a victim of police misconduct, the statute of limitations to notify a government agency that you intend to file a lawsuit is short.
Preserve evidence. Take photographs of your injuries and get contact information from any witnesses. Ask witnesses for cell phone videos or pictures of the incident. If nearby businesses have security cameras, you or your attorney can request copies of the footage.
Depending on the details of the incident, you may file a lawsuit for assault and battery, personal injury, or wrongful death. The statute of limitations is different for each of these. An assault and battery lawsuit has a statute of limitations of one year. Personal injury is three years, and wrongful death is two years.
Have You Been a Victim of Police Misconduct in Washington, D.C.?
If you have been the victim of police misconduct in Washington, D.C., you may have extensive physical injuries or suffer from psychological trauma, and both of these can have long-lasting effects on your life. Your civil rights have been violated, and you need aggressive, experienced legal representation from S.L. England, PLLC, to fight for you. Call us today at (202) 489-0720 or contact us online.