Billings, MT – Police misconduct can affect people of all backgrounds, and young people are often more likely to be profiled or targeted for police investigations. Someone who is very young is also likely to sustain serious injuries when handled violently by adult police officers. 

When a juvenile or young adult is mistreated by police officers, they can follow a similar process to file a lawsuit and get other forms of legal assistance. Their civil rights are not contingent on age, however their parents will likely have to assist with certain aspects of contacting a lawyer and bringing the case. The case can be filed even if the victim was charged with a crime and eventually arrested. 

Reporting the incident

After the episode of police misconduct, the victim and their family can try to collect videos, pictures, witness statements, and other pieces of evidence that prove improper behavior by local law enforcement. The family should keep their own copies of all of these pieces of evidence and both contact an attorney and report the incident to the department that employs the officers in question. In most situations, reporting the offending behavior to the police department is not enough, as it is rare that serious forms of discipline are imposed on officers and monetary compensation is only given through the civil courts. 

Collecting statements of damages

The victim should also keep copies of medical records and treatment, as well as any other costs that were incurred due to the misconduct or a wrongful arrest. This may include additional problems like missed time from work and lost wages. Any other losses such as property damage may be included as well, and the victim’s lawyer can even argue for non-economic damages related to emotional pain and suffering. The amount of damages available will generally increase with more severe injuries and expenses associated with healthcare. 

Negotiating a settlement

If there is clear evidence that police officers violently handled a young person, this reflects poorly on the department in question and is likely to cause large amounts of negative publicity. For these reasons, it may be easier for the victim’s attorney to negotiate a settlement that offers a fair amount of compensation based on the injuries and other losses. Most settlement agreements make the plaintiff agree that there will be no further action related to the same issue as long as the victim accepts the money. This often prevents plaintiffs from suing again later, even if new information related to the same set of facts is discovered.  

Local police brutality lawyers in Montana is a website that can help victims of police brutality in Billings and other cities around the country. Users can browse the directory to find local attorneys by practice area in their state.