Violent or abusive encounters with law enforcement officers can be traumatizing. Not only do victims suffer injury at the hands of police officers, but often find themselves arrested and stuck in jail for some time afterward. It is not surprising that these encounters can leave victims upset, in pain, and wanting justice.
The law allows you to file a legal claim against the officer who wrongfully abused you. However, there are some steps you can take to increase the chances of prevailing on your claim and holding the officer responsible.
Seek medical treatment – As soon as you are able, you should go to the emergency department or to your doctor for a full medical evaluation. A timely evaluation will allow a medical professional to document your injuries and connect those injuries with your recent encounter with police. The resulting medical records can be used as evidence to prove the nature, severity, and apparent cause of your injuries in a later police brutality legal claim.
Document your recollections – Violent incidents with law enforcement officers are often emotionally difficult and you may begin to forget or misremember details about the incident. You should write down everything that you remember as soon as possible after the encounter. These notes can later assist you if you need to testify to the events in court.
Collect witness information – If there are any witnesses to the encounter, you should always get their names so your attorney can contact them. Eyewitness testimony is often valuable in police brutality cases, especially if you and the witness did not previously know each other. Additionally, in this technological age, witnesses may have recorded the encounter on their smart phone. Video evidence is extraordinarily helpful since the jury will be able to see exactly what happened without having to rely on witness testimony.
Contact a Philadelphia police brutality attorney as soon as possible
Victims of police brutality can experience significant physical and emotional trauma and may be eligible for significant financial compensation under federal law. While suing the police may seem intimidating, doing so with the assistance of an experienced police brutality attorney can make the process easier. To schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys, call The Zeiger Firm today at (215) 546-0340.