Gainesville Civil Rights – Police Brutality Lawyer
Were you the victim of police brutality in Gainesville, Florida? Have your civil rights been violated? You deserve compensation and justice for your injuries and the harm you’ve suffered; Allen Law Firm, P.A., can help.
We’re a personal injury law firm that is dedicated to standing up for injury victims in the Gainesville community. Led by Attorney Bill Allen, a former University of Florida football player with 26 years of experience practicing law, we’ve helped accident and injury victims recover substantial compensation – totaling hundreds of millions of dollars.
We want to help you through this trying time, and we believe we have the resources and expertise necessary to do so effectively.
How Allen Law Firm, P.A., Can Help If You’ve Been Harmed Due to Police Brutality in Gainesville
Federal, state, and local law affords you significant legal rights and protections. Civil rights law has come a long way since our country was founded, but it still has a ways to go – as evidenced by the increased frequency of police brutality in recent years.
If you’ve experienced harm as a result of police brutality in Gainesville, FL, it is crucial that you understand your legal options to be made whole again as best as possible. Adequate financial compensation and a sense of justice are both possible, especially with the assistance of an experienced Gainesville personal injury lawyer. Allen Law Firm, P.A., can help you in the following ways, just to name a few:
- Fully investigating your civil rights violations and police brutality incident to collect evidence in support of your claim
- File a lawsuit against the appropriate governmental entity to pursue the compensation you deserve, with a willingness to bring the case all the way to trial
- Take care of all the paperwork, communications, and procedures so that you can focus on your recovery
- Hire experts to analyze your case and testify on your behalf, if necessary
- Keep you up-to-date as to your legal options as your case progresses
If you’d like to learn more or want to begin establishing an attorney-client relationship, reach out today to set up a free, no-obligation case review. We’re here 24/7 to take your call.
A Brief Overview of Civil Rights and Police Brutality Law
As mentioned above, your civil rights are protected on the federal level as well as on the state and local levels. At the federal level, some of these rights are afforded to you through the United States Constitution, such as the right to a trial by jury and protection against unreasonable search and seizure.
Certain federal statutes also offer you protections. Regarding police brutality, in particular, there are three key laws to point out. The first is 18 U.S. Code § 242, which is a criminal statute. Under this statute, it is illegal for any person “under the color of law” to deprive another person of any rights protected by the Constitution or other law.
“Under the color of law” means that a person is acting with power offered to them by any governmental agency – including those at the local, state, and federal levels. Types of police conduct that can fall under this statute (as well as any other in this area of the law) include:
- Excessive force
- Sexual assault
- Intentional false arrests
- Intentional fabrication of evidence
If a police officer violates this law, they could be subject to fines or imprisonment as part of a criminal prosecution. However, this law does not give you (the police brutality victim) the ability to file a lawsuit.
Another law, 34 U.S. Code § 12601, expressly allows civil lawsuits to be filed against the appropriate governmental entity by the Department of Justice (DOJ). Normally, the government is protected from lawsuits by the concept of sovereign immunity. As opposed to the first law, however, there must be a “pattern or practice” in place, as opposed to a single incident. The relief granted under this law is not monetary compensation to the victim but rather injunctive relief, such as forcing the police department to change its policies and procedures.
Although these first two laws may not pertain to you as the victim – in the sense that you cannot receive compensation stemming from them – they could still impact your case. Criminal convictions or civil liability under these statutes can make your case easier to prove. They also serve to make widespread change possible in terms of reform.
The last federal statute to mention, 42 U.S. Code § 1983, does allow you to file a claim for compensation after you’ve been the victim of police brutality. The same “under the color of law” requirement applies here as it does to the first statute discussed above.
Depending on the facts of your case, you may have multiple avenues through which to pursue compensation for your police brutality injuries. For instance, instead of or in addition to filing a lawsuit under the aforementioned federal law, you may be able to file a claim under state law or local law. You might also be able to file a more general personal injury claim against the officer.
Police brutality and civil rights cases are among the most complex in the personal injury field – but they are also among the most important. Allen Law Firm, P.A., is willing to do what it takes to help you achieve a favorable outcome, which means, in part, doing the necessary research and allocating sufficient resources to fully understand and pursue your claim.
What Damages Can I Receive for a Civil Rights Claim in Gainesville, Florida?
Victims of civil rights violations and police brutality in Gainesville can recover two forms of compensatory damages: economic damages as well as non-economic damages. Examples of each include, but are not limited to:
- Medical bills
- Decreased enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
- Anxiety, depression, PTSD
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Decreased earning capacity
- Out-of-pocket expenses
During our internal investigation into your civil rights violation case, our Gainesville police brutality lawyers will work hard to articulate the full value of your claim.
We’ll Fight To Recover Compensation for All of Your Police Brutality Injuries in Gainesville
Police brutality incidents can result in many different types of injuries based on the facts and circumstances involved in the case. Some of the injuries you can receive a monetary award for include the following:
- Broken bones and fractures
- Lacerations and puncture wounds
- Internal bleeding
- Organ damage
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Neck and spinal cord injuries
- Back injuries
- Chest injuries
Contact Allen Law Firm, P.A., today to speak with a qualified Gainesville civil rights attorney about your case.
How Much Time Do I Have To File a Civil Rights Claim in Florida?
In most cases, depending on the type of lawsuit you need to file, you will have either three or four years from the date of the incident. These deadlines are established by Florida’s statute of limitations (no deadline is set by the previously-discussed federal law). If you file your lawsuit too late, you’ll forfeit your ability to pursue compensation in a court of law.
The three-year time limit applies when you need to file a lawsuit against a governmental entity, such as a police department. This encompasses many, if not most, police brutality cases. You must file a “notice of claim” within three years of the incident to begin the process. From there, no lawsuit can be filed until 180 days have passed or if your claim is denied.
If you intend to sue the police officer directly – which may or may not be an option depending on the case – you will have four years instead of three.
However, there are nuances to these deadlines that could result in additional time to file. For that reason, we recommend contacting our law office in Gainesville if you’re not sure about the deadline by which you must file your lawsuit.
Set Up a Free Case Review With an Experienced Gainesville Civil Rights Lawyer Today
If your civil rights have been violated by a police officer in Gainesville, you may have legal options available to you to obtain compensation for your injuries. Whether it’s filing a lawsuit under federal, local, or state law, you can rest assured that Allen Law Firm, P.A., is well-equipped to help you every step of the way.
Our law firm works on contingency, so we only receive attorney’s fees if we recover compensation for you. To get started or for further information, call today at (877) 469-1775 to set up your free consultation with one of our trusted Gainesville police brutality attorneys.