A Washington Post article published in December 2015 reported that 965 people were shot and killed by police officers across the United States during that year, and 1010 people were shot and killed by police in 2016. The Sacramento Bee in 2016 reported that police officers in California killed someone, on average, about once every three days over the last decade.
Though some of these deaths were no doubt justified, based on officers acting in self-defense, many others were arguably the result of officer negligence, or worse, outright police misconduct. In other words, the officer’s actions were unreasonable under all the circumstances known to the officer at the time of the shooting. These cases should be aggressively pursued so that the families of the deceased can have some measure of closure, while at the same time holding the responsible officers accountable. Pursuing a case against an officer or the police department is an emotional roller coaster for the family involved, often tedious, long, and place emotional strains on all concerned. For this reason, it is critical early on to collect and preserve all evidence, including identifying crucial points in the timeline of the incident, identifying every witness, locating and preserving all video and photos relating to the incident, as well as full information on the deceased, all in order to strengthen your case.
When a police officer fires his or her weapon at an individual, the result more often than not cannot be undone. In these tragic situations, one of our Riverside Police Shooting attorneys can help you, and a civil rights/wrongful death lawsuit is often the only course of action to follow.
Time is of the essence as there are statutes of limitations applicable to all civil claims against governmental agencies, and their employees, such as police officers and sheriff’s deputies. For claims based upon federal statute (42 USC Section 1983 claims) there is a two-year statute of limitations in California. For California State law claims, such as California Civil Code 52.1 claims (a California statute which includes recovery of damages for federal civil rights violations), and claims for assault, battery, and negligence, it is mandatory to give notice of your intent to file a lawsuit to the individual police officer’s employer. This has to be done no later than six months following the incident during which the injury occurred. Unless filed in a timely manner you will forever lose your ability to file a lawsuit for damages.
It will for many reasons be difficult for you to file a case of this nature on your own. It is important that you should be represented by competent legal counsel who understands this complex area of law. By sitting down and strategizing with one of our San Bernadino Police Shooting lawyers, you will greatly increase your chances of succeeding with your case.
Call to speak with a Police Shooting attorney in Riverside, San Bernadino or Orange County.
Represented client injured by custodial staff while in prison. Case settled for $500,000 before trial.
Represented client injured by custodial staff while in jail. Case settled for $335,000 before trial.
Represented client subject to unreasonable search and seizure, and then subject to excessive force, being Tased by a police officer. Case settled for $400,000 before trial.