With the rapid growth of organizations like the APA (American Psychological Association) the importance of good mental health is becoming better understood by the general public. Mental health issues are taken so seriously because individuals who are more unstable have a greater tendency to commit suicide. Suicide rates have risen by 30% in the last decade and individuals who are emotionally harassed by others have a greater chance of developing suicidal thoughts.
As individuals have started to become aware of how important mental health is, a common question which often arises is whether individuals are allowed to pursue legal action if someone-particularly a police officer-causes them some form of emotional distress.
Just like nearly every other legal scenario, it really depends on what happened at the moment and how outrageous the officer’s actions were. If the officer behaved in an outrageous manner with the clear intent that their actions would lead to emotional distress then they can indeed be sued.
What scenarios would allow a person to sue a police officer?
Before calling up a police brutality lawyer in Lee County, Florida, individuals should consider whether the interaction which took place followed one or more of the following:
- The action of the police officer was outrageous
- The action of the police officer was deliberate and with the intent to cause emotional pain
- The victim did not respond back in a negative manner
- Significant emotional pain resulted
If any of the above points apply to the interaction that was just experienced they should not hesitate to call in a police brutality attorney to begin the process of taking legal action. It is important to note that significant emotional pain has to result in order for the case to be successful.
A person can prove they suffered a significant amount of emotional distress by the following:
- If the emotional distress lasted for a long period of time
- If there were other symptoms such as the development of mental disorders which surfaced as a result of the encounter
- If any other reasonable person was made to experience the same scenario, they would not be able to cope with the behavior of the officer as well
If it seems like the person is overreacting then they will most likely be told to get assessed by a psychologist. If the psychologist does not feel like they were really mentally affected by the encounter then the case will most probably not go through in their favor.
Emotional pain caused by an officer through negligence
In some cases, individuals can also litigate against a police officer for the emotional pain they experienced due to the officer being negligent. If the officer was legally responsible for carrying out certain duties but they failed to do so and this resulted in the victim suffering in one way or the other then a police officer can be held liable.
However, how much responsibility can be placed on a police officer varies by state and an individual should get in touch with an experienced lawyer in order to get educated on the rules and regulations according to their jurisdiction.