When someone is injured by the police, one of their first reactions is to think of how they can be repaid for the incident. The decision to file criminal charges is left to the local prosecutor, so there is not much victims can do regarding that process. The best option for most victims is contact a local lawyer who can file a civil lawsuit and either win a judgment or agree to a settlement for a sum of money related to the severity of their injuries. Police brutality can cause broken bones, lacerations, disfigurement, trauma, and even death in some instances.

Deadly encounter with Okeechobee Police

This incident occurred when the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office had responded to a domestic violence incident within the county borders. As soon as the police arrived, the man involved had fled the scene and armed himself. After a low speed pursuit, the deputies caught up with the man, when he apparently was pointing a gun to his own head. After negotiations with the man failed to calm him down or resolve the situation, officers began to fire non-lethal rounds in his direction. The officers then allege that the man tried to approach them and escalate the situation further, when they responded with deadly force, killing the man. Okeechobee County Sheriff Noel Stephen expressed regret as to how the situation unfolded and stated that all officers involved in the shooting were placed on administrative leave as further investigation into the incident begins.

Damages in civil claims

The element of any civil lawsuit that interests plaintiffs the most is damages. This is because damages are the legal term for the amount of compensation that will be paid out to a victim based on the actual harm suffered. In simple terms, damages are the money given to the winner of the lawsuit. For example, a dispute might arise when the defendant broke the plaintiff’s arm and caused them to miss work for two weeks. The damages would be the medical expenses related to the broken arm and the lost wages during those two weeks. There are also other amounts that can be claimed for damages related to pain and suffering which are non-economic damages. This type of compensation is not as easily quantified, but a skilled lawyer will know how to make the right kinds of arguments for non-economic harm. Sometimes, there are large amounts of damages related to pain and suffering because of the seriousness of the injuries and their long-term consequences.

In cases involving a fatal shooting or lethal force like the incident above, there are different options available. The department can be sued under federal law for excessive use for force that caused death. There is also the option of a wrongful death lawsuit that is meant to compensate surviving family members for the value of the deceased person’s life. Wrongful death cases are an attempt to quantify what the person could have earned from working and providing services for the rest of their life. These factors and other relevant details about the person’s life form the basis for the amount of damages awarded to the family.

Contact a lawyer in the Okeechobee area

Wherever you are in Okeechobee County, there are lawyers nearby who are licensed to practice in the state of Florida. If you have had a confrontation with police officers that resulted in an injury, an attorney is ready to hear about the incident and help you proceed with filing a lawsuit.