Police are the people we trust to protect us and mitigate crime. We expect them to act judiciously and take reasonable action when they witness a crime. We have many stories of even off-duty cops who took action to protect civilians. Sometimes, things can go wrong with not-so-responsible cops.
In many cases, cops are protected by the local and/or state government. Sometimes, things go wrong in the standard work, and they couldn’t do their job if they were liable for every little thing. It is common for government offices investigate every shooting and death as a matter of course. They don’t always come to the conclusion we’d like them to. Government offices have to allow you to file a wrongful death or personal injury suit against cops and other officers of the court.
When Do the Courts Remove Immunity?
Any time there’s a serious injury or death associated with cops, some people will question any decision to protect them. The question for many courts is if the action was justifiable and within reasonable limitations of the job. Some public shootings that made the news have been ruled as justifiable. On the other hand, the beating of a handicapped man by police officers in Florida was decided otherwise. The officers and the police department can be held liable under federal law – i.e., 42 U.S.C. 1983.
Wrongful death suits against government employees rarely go through. This doesn’t mean it’s impossible for a wrongful death lawyer in Miami to get the chance to pursue one. Just like other cases, it’s an officer’s job to evaluate your case and measure its strengths and weaknesses. A competent lawyer can use personal knowledge to give plaintiffs an honest evaluation. There’s always a chance of coming to a different conclusion than expected. Wrongful death suits that are allowed to proceed can be public and a powerful statement.
What factors influence the department’s decision? One of the biggest factors is the department itself. Some municipalities are more likely to zealously defend their officers and block suits. How public the incident is can also affect your chances. If the case has been all over the news, cities and counties are more likely to avoid more bad publicity. Sometimes, these types of cases can be tried in federal courts which tend to be more impartial.
How Much Can You Expect as Compensation When Suing Officers?
What kind of damages can you expect if you proceed with a wrongful death suit against officers? Like any other cases, the decision can still hinge on factors outside your control. A lawyer prepares a strong case, and you have the advantage of knowing your case that would fall under the applicable federal law.
You still come up against things like jury bias. Sometimes, you’ll get a juror or other parties who want to protect cops at all cost. Some may also have biases based on race or any past acts defendants drag up. Bottom line is that there’s no guarantee, especially when you have jurors who are unsympathetic. This could lead to judgments against you or lower settlements.
Find a Wrongful Death Lawyer in Miami Who Can Build Your Case
One of the most challenging parts in any wrongful death claim is determining just and fair compensation. Even if you have a strong case for negligence or bad acts, the amount you’re owed varies greatly depending on too many factors to list herein. Not all cases are built around medical bills and other hard costs. Some rely largely on things like pain and suffering. A good wrongful death lawyer in Miami can get an objective number to present. Like many other cases, lawyers on the other side will look at their odds. Many come to a settlement before they go to court. If they believe there’s a strong bias against the plaintiff, they might be more willing to take it to court and risk a smaller judgment.
A competent wrongful death lawyer can account for these types of things. Then we can come up with a fair and just compensation amount that is likely to lead to a settlement that’s good for our clients. Nunez Law is here to help clients obtain fair and just compensation. To see what we can do for you, just click here.