It is not uncommon for the police to catch the wrong person and put them into jail, just to release them after realizing that they are innocent. You may not be bothered much when you are detained by a human police officer, but what if a police dog caught you in its jaws? It will surely do more harm than just damaging your pride and dignity. Now you must be thinking about your options if you find yourself in such a scenario. Can you file a dog bite lawsuit against the police or should you just walk away to avoid any further trouble?
Law Protection against Police Dog Bite Injury
The answer is yes, you can hold the cops liable. According to the Federal Civil Rights Act of 1964, the police cannot use unreasonable force (such as dogs biting individuals) when they are arresting a suspect. There are several possible consequences for police officers in doing so. They may have to compensate the victims for the pain and suffering they went through, or may be asked to pay punitive damages. Moreover, the federal law can provide some benefits to the victim, such as extension in the statute of limitations for filing a claim and compensation for attorney costs and fees.
Factors influencing a Police Dog Bite Case
You may be relieved to hear that you can file a claim against police dog bites, but unfortunately, it is not as easy as suing an ordinary dog owner. The government has given the police authority to use dogs to aid them in search and arrest missions, so it can be quite difficult to prove your case. However, there are several factors that can help you in overcoming this immunity and affect the outcome of your case:
- You were unarmed when the dog bit you
- Your crime was just a misdemeanor, not a felony
- You were hiding and not running away
- The dog bit you several times
- The police officer didn’t had control over the dog
- You surrendered right away, but the dog still bit
Filing a Police Dog Bite Claim
Once you have determined that your case is viable, here is how you can proceed with filing a lawsuit against the police:
- There are several laws that are enacted for filing injury claims against the government. The procedures differ among states, but you can file a standard form to make the government aware of your injury. This procedure is known as government tort claim.
- Now wait for their response, which you will most probably receive after a set amount of time after evaluating your case. If they don’t respond or your claim is rejected, you should proceed with filing a lawsuit.
- Hire an experienced dog bite injury attorney who can help you build a solid claim and counter the arguments of government agencies effectively.
If you have been bit by a police dog when you are no fault at all, you should file a case against the police. Contact the Law Offices of Robert T. Edens, P.C. at (847) 395-2200 or online today to schedule your initial consultation with our firm.d