Your rights as an individual are important, but even those in positions of authority may not always abide by those rights. If a police officer arrests you without probable cause or another legal justification, you may be a victim of false arrest-regardless of whether or not you have committed a crime. If you choose to sue to defend your rights, you could recover damages. Here is what you need to know about false arrest, as well as some of the types of compensation you could receive if you win a false arrest lawsuit.
What Is A False Arrest?
A false arrest occurs when a person is restrained or detained without lawful justification. A warrant that is not valid (or the absence of a warrant entirely), lack of a probable cause (a reasonable suspicion that the person has committed a crime) and lack of consent are examples of situations that might constitute a false arrest.
A false arrest is a violation of someone’s personal rights and is a crime. Generally, it will be categorized as a misdemeanor. The reason that you are protected from false arrests is that amendments to the Constitution grant you security from unreasonable searches and seizures. In this case, what is being seized unreasonably or without proper cause is you.
After your false arrest, you have the option to bring a lawsuit to court to try to obtain some sort of compensation. An attorney can help you navigate this process, as well as help you better understand the types of damages you could secure if you win.
Payment For Outstanding Or Cleared Medical Bills
If you were injured in the course of your false arrest, you may be eligible to be reimbursed for any medical treatment expenses you incurred as a result. Even if you have already paid the bills or copays, the court can still rule in your favor to recompense you for the amounts you owed.
Payment For Future Treatments
A false arrest can be traumatizing, and the effects of such an experience can cause a downturn in your mental health. The counseling required to get you back to a healthier state is pricey but necessary, and your lawsuit could provide you with the means to obtain it. You will need to prove that such counseling is critical to your well-being.
Furthermore, if your false arrest-related injuries are severe, your recovery may take longer. This could include a need to undergo physical therapy treatment. You might receive compensation for the medical expenses, as well as pain and suffering, related to this as well. This could enable you to continue going to a chiropractor after a neck injury caused by an officer, for example.
Payment For Lost Opportunities
If your false arrest caused you to miss life opportunities that you otherwise might have gained, a lawsuit may help to cover the income that you would have accrued as a result. For example, if your arrest hurt your reputation and you lost the chance to secure a promotion, you may be rewarded with a monetary sum that is considered equitable to the income that promotion would have earned you.
Payment For Missed Compensation
If you were unable to go to work because of your false arrest, you may be able to recoup your wages for the period you missed. This may also be true if you missed work due to medical treatment for injuries sustained during the arrest.
Payment For Job Loss And Other Detriments
Similarly, an arrest could result in the loss of your job. This could be because of the arrest itself, the negative impressions that your false arrest causes at your workplace, the period of time that you couldn’t go to work after your arrest, and more. If you lost your source of income because of the false arrest, winning your lawsuit could mean that you get paid what you were owed during that time. For example, the court may look at how much you would have earned over an average span of time (e.g., three months) that it deems reasonable for locating another job.
Payment For Pain And Suffering
If you experienced significant pain and suffering because of your false arrest-related injuries, you may be awarded compensation. It can be both subjective and complex to put a dollar figure on something so personal and situational, which is why it can be challenging to seek damages for pain and suffering.
Punitive damages are different from compensatory damages. Compensatory damages, such as lost wages, medical bills, and pain and suffering, are awarded in order to compensate the injured party for losses incurred. A court may also award punitive damages, in addition to the compensatory damages, for the sole purpose of punishing the guilty or at-fault party. Ideally, punitive damages discourage the police from behaving this way in the future so that they will not have to make such payments again. You can pursue both punitive and compensatory damages in the same case.
Trust The Experts To Help You Fight For Compensation
If you have been a victim of a false arrest, you deserve fair compensation. The attorneys at The Brown Firm would be happy to help you understand your next steps and advocate on your behalf in court. Reach out to schedule a consultation to get started.