Can I file a lawsuit against a police officer for excessive force and police brutality? 29 Answers as of July 22, 2011

I was punched in the face by a police officer for allegedly pushing the officer which I never did and now my eye is swollen shut black, and I had to get stitches. I already have filed a complaint with the police department against the officer for excessive force and police brutality, but I would also like to file a law suit is that possible?

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Timothy Jones, Attorney at Law
Timothy Jones, Attorney at Law | Timothy Jones
Yes
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 7/22/2011
The Law Firm of Shawn M. Murray
The Law Firm of Shawn M. Murray | Shawn M. Murray
It is. It's called a Section 1983 action which would be brought in federal court for violation of your civil rights "under color of law." It is important that you be sure to take numerous, hi-resolution pictures of your injuries.
Answer Applies to: Louisiana
Replied: 7/19/2011
David Hoines Law
David Hoines Law | David Hoines
these are tough caseswere you arrested? if so, you must found not guilty of criminal case
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 7/19/2011
Vincent J. Bernabei LLC
Vincent J. Bernabei LLC | Vincent J. Bernabei
If you were the victim of police brutality, then you can file a civil lawsuit against the officer and the department to recover damages. Because you have a claim against a governmental agency, you must give notice of your intent to pursue the claim within 180 days of the incident.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 7/18/2011
Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
The answer is "sure". Police are bad for lying where abuse is concerned so be very careful.
Answer Applies to: North Carolina
Replied: 7/18/2011
    Wilson & Hajek, LLC
    Wilson & Hajek, LLC | Eddie W. Wilson
    Yes, but hard to win unless you have some corroborating evidence such as a video.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 7/18/2011
    David F. Stoddard
    David F. Stoddard | David F. Stoddard
    You can. However, these cases are hard to win. It often comes down to your word against the officer. He will probably state facts that would make his hitting you justified to defend himself. You probably need some evidence to corroborate tht he was the aggressor besides your own testimony.
    Answer Applies to: South Carolina
    Replied: 7/18/2011
    Patrick M Lamar Attorney
    Patrick M Lamar Attorney | Patrick M Lamar
    Yes, a lawsuit is a possibility. However, these cases are extremely difficult to win due to the number of immunities and semi-immunities officers are provided. See a lawyer who has handled a number of these type of cases in the past.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 7/18/2011
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A.
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A. | James P Kelaher
    Yes, but you will probably have difficulty finding an attorney to handle it.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 7/18/2011
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    Yes. You can file a lawsuit. I suggest that you hire a lawyer immediately because you must file a notice of claim within ninety days of the occurrence. Don't delay! J
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 7/18/2011
    LT Pepper Law
    LT Pepper Law | Luke T. Pepper
    You can file a lawsuit based on these facts. There some significant hurdles to filing a case of this sort but it can be done. Based on the injuries here, damages might be limited.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 7/18/2011
    Allen Murphy Law
    Allen Murphy Law | W. Riley Allen
    It is possible, but with your limited injuries it will be a very difficult case as the police are given quite a bit of leeway. If you pursue a Section 1983 Civil Rights claim, which is what you are really dealing with, the burden is a very high one to overcome....not impossible, but difficult. I would definitely pursue the Internal Affairs complaint and investigation.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 7/18/2011
    Greenwald, Mayfield & Vigil, LLP
    Greenwald, Mayfield & Vigil, LLP | Darrell J. Greenwald
    The short answer is yes, you can file a lawsuit against the officer. However, winning your case at trial will not be so easy and will most likely require convincing evidence, such as multiple, credible, unbiased witnesses and/or video of the event. Otherwise, if it's just your word against the police officer's, the jury will likely side with the officer.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/18/2011
    Lyle B. Masnikoff and Associates
    Lyle B. Masnikoff and Associates | Lyle B. Masnikoff
    It's possible. Need more details. Call personal injury attorney
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 7/18/2011
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC | Timothy J. Klisz
    That is certainly possible.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/18/2011
    Goolsby Law Office
    Goolsby Law Office | Richard Goolsby
    > We are personal injury attorneys (and criminal defense attorneys) in Augusta, Georgia. We recommend that you consult with a lawyer in your area concerning your rights and options. While it might be possible, there are a number of issues which you should discuss with your own attorney, including the costs and whether or not you face potential criminal prosecution. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 7/16/2011
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    You may. 7
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/16/2011
    Law Office of Mark J. Leonardo
    Law Office of Mark J. Leonardo | Mark Leonardo
    Yes you can do that, but it will be a difficult case unless you have a witness. It always seems that law enforcement is given great deference in their testimony as to what happened, even though they are just as likely and capable of lying as the next guy. Hopefully your injuries are well documented and you have photographs. Because you are suing a governmental agency, the statute of limitations is only 6 months to file a tort claim. Do not sit on this and find an attorney that will handle this type of claim.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/16/2011
    The Law Office of Josh Lamborn, P.C.
    The Law Office of Josh Lamborn, P.C. | Josh Lamborn
    Yes, it is possible to sue the police. However, these cases are usually very difficult to win without significant evidence on your side. If you do not have some independent evidence such as, video, independent witnesses or physical evidence contradicting the officer's story, the case will come down to your word against the officer (and possibly his partner). Most jurors are inclined to believe a police officer over someone he was arresting and since you will be the plaintiff it will be your burden to prove the case by a preponderance of the evidence. If you have a criminal history that will further undermine your credibility on the stand. You should consult with an attorney who specializes in civil rights cases so you can get a realistic assessment of your case after hearing all of the facts.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 7/16/2011
    Barry Rabovsky & Associates
    Barry Rabovsky & Associates | Barry Rabovsky
    We would be happy to provide you with a free consultation if you call my office at either of the numbers listed below. If my office accepts your case, there is no fee charged unless we are able to obtain a settlement for you. Thank you for your email, and we look forward to hearing from you.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 7/16/2011
    The Kelly Law Firm, P.C.
    The Kelly Law Firm, P.C. | L. Todd Kelly
    These are very tough cases. I am happy to discuss if you call my office.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 7/16/2011
    Pivotal Law Group, PLLC
    Pivotal Law Group, PLLC | Christopher L. Thayer
    You may have a claim for excessive force. It would be helpful if you had witnesses to the incident and/or video of the assault. Otherwise, it will be your word against the officer's and that will be a challenge. Not necessarily impossible, but difficult. You should consult with an attorney in your area.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/16/2011
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
    contact a firm that has done such suits The information contained in this email may be confidential and/or legally privileged. It has been sent for the sole use of the intended recipient(s). If the reader of this message is not an intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any unauthorized review, use, disclosure, dissemination, distribution, or copying of this communication, or any of its contents, is strictly prohibited. If you have received this communication in error, please contact the sender by reply email and destroy all copies of the original message. Thank you for your anticipated cooperation.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 7/16/2011
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