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Legal Options If Your Loved One Was Killed by Police

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Legal Options If Your Loved One Was Killed by Police

Written by™


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It’s a sad fact that oftentimes the police will make mistakes and be negligent of their duties, resulting in wrongful deaths. In that case, according to the law, the appropriate parties should be held accountable. This is even in the case where the police are doing their job as they should and accidents do happen; still someone has to be held accountable, and that is often the police officer responsible for the wrongful death. But how does one go about pursuing such a lawsuit?

Burden of Proof Remains on Whether or Not the Police Officer Was Negligent

It is a very serious factor to consider, and every case is different. The fact is if you’re facing the death of a loved one at the hands of a police officer—either intentionally or negligently—you may have a case, but you won’t know unless you consult an attorney and present the facts as they are. You do have possibilities. In Jackson, MS, a recent case involving the death of 31-year-old Mario Clark was, in fact, ruled a homicide. This is a case where it was decided that law enforcement took it too far, but what happens in cases where it’s harder to tell if negligence occurred? You would need a lawyer to investigate and determine what happened. There are very specific types of negligence to keep in mind and whether to seek justice at the state or federal level. There are three factors to consider:

  • Excessive Force – In particular, if the attorney can show that the police officer’s choice in the matter was “excessive and unreasonable,” it’s a case worth looking into.
  • Denial of Medical Care – Law enforcement can also be considered negligent in the event of medical treatment not arriving quickly enough for victims who desperately need it due to not allowing treatment to arrive.
  • Inadequate Training – Particularly regarding municipal liability, if a lawyer can prove that the party in question wasn’t adequately trained in the situation, then that can easily be a case of personal injury.

Keep in mind that it all depends on the facts and the evidence available. If the lawyer is able to present such facts and evidence in a way to sway a jury or a judge, or both, the preponderance of evidence could be enough to award monetary compensation. Be aware that state versus federal plays a huge difference in terms of the burden of proof: on the state level, most courts will require simple a preponderance of evidence whereas federal courts must have very “clear and convincing evidence” to support the claim. This applies specifically to civil rights violations, particularly of an extreme nature. Of course, if you are to pursue a case at the federal level, you must have constitutional reason to do so, based on civil rights violations. Many state claims can include anything from false imprisonment to assault and battery and other situations constituting personal injury or wrongful death.

If You Do Have Questions About a Wrongful Death by Police Claim….

You simply must consult an attorney. You certainly deserve restitution, and while no amount of money can bring back the loved one, you certainly can right the wrong and receive justice for the harm committed.

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