The amount of damages also depends on whether the police officers had some sort of justification for the use of force, lethal or not.
Fresno, CA – Despite the efforts to curb the use of excessive force by law enforcement agents, police brutality remains a salient problem in Fresno, California. Only last year, the city of Fresno agreed to settle two federal civil rights lawsuits in less than a month for nearly $10 million. One of the cases concerned the killing of a teenager who was shot in the back of the head while he was fleeing from the police.
The only way to get damages for police brutality in California is to contact seasoned Fresno police brutality lawyers and file a civil rights lawsuit.
Why do I need to file a lawsuit?
If you want to get justice, you must make your voice heard. You cannot expect the police to come around and apologize for their wrongdoings. You need to get a good California police brutality lawyer and go public about the treatment you were subjected to.
For instance, the killing of the 16-year boy shot in the head by a Fresno PD officer caused a public outcry when a video of the incident surfaced. The video shows the teenager was unarmed and was fleeing from the police so he was not threatening the officers in any way. After the killing, a police officer can be heard commenting “Nice shot”. The lawsuit was settled for close to $5 million and it was only at this point that the local council apologized for the crime.
What types of damages can I get for a police brutality claim?
This depends on the severity of the injuries you sustained. The $5 million mentioned above refers to a police killing, which qualifies as a wrongful death claim. The amount of damages also depends on whether the police officers had some sort of justification for the use of force, lethal or not.
Generally speaking, for a police killing settlements vary between as little as $50,000 and $5.7 million, with an average of $650,000.
For non-fatal injuries, you need to talk to seasoned police brutality lawyers to understand how much your claim is worth. You can get economic damages to compensate you for your medical expenses as well as for the lost income, past and future.
You can also get non-economic damages for the suffering your injuries caused you and for the humiliation and loss of reputation. Damages for non-fatal injuries range from a low of $30,000 to a high of $7 million with the average recovery being around $656,000.
You can file a police misconduct suit even if you were not physically injured during the encounter with law enforcement agents. For instance, if you were subjected to racial profiling or an illegal strip search you can seek compensation for the degrading treatment.
Keep in mind that damages are awarded only in a civil rights lawsuit, which has nothing to do with a criminal case. Even if the Fresno DA decides to file criminal charges against an officer accused of police misconduct, that trial is strictly about them going to prison or not.