Everyone who is the victim of an injury that is someone else’s fault deserves justice and compensation for their injuries. I believe that this includes prison and jail inmates.
Much of the time, this population is overlooked. Once inmates are behind bars, we tend to forget about them, or we trust that correctional officers will take care of them. Sadly, this is not always the case. Inmates are abused or the victims of accidents inside a jail or prison, just as regular citizens are victims of these incidents outside of jail. However, it is important to note that making a personal injury claim as an inmate is different than making one as a regular citizen. I will outline these differences in this post.
Common Injuries to Inmates
Injury occurs in prisons and jails frequently. Wrongful deaths even occur in prisons. Injuries can result from acts such as:
- Lack of medical attention/care
- The use of excessive force
- Sexual assault
It is a detention official’s job to prevent injuries and accidents such as these. If a correction officer fails to prevent issues such as the ones listed above, he or she can be found guilty of negligence. However, unlike for regular personal injury cases, negligence is not the basis for a personal injury claim – deliberate indifference is.
In order to make a valid personal injury claim, an inmate must prove that the prison or its employees exhibited deliberate indifference. Deliberate indifference is harder to prove than negligence because it is considered a higher standard. In order for a prison official to commit deliberate indifference, he or she has to make a deliberate choice not to do something or to do something that he or she knows will harm the inmate. For example, if a prison official knows that an inmate has cancer but refuses to allow him or her to see a doctor, this could be considered deliberate indifference. Abusing an inmate or allowing him or her to be abused by other inmates can also constitute deliberate indifference.
Filing a Claim
If an inmate believes he or she has a legitimate case, he or she can file a claim under cruel and unusual punishment. If the inmate is a convicted prisoner in prison, he or she would file under the 8th Amendment, and if the victim is injured while being detained before a trial, he or she can file a claim under the 14th Amendment.
If you know an inmate who was injured in jail or prison and you believe that a prison official is responsible, it is in your best interest to seek the help of a personal injury lawyer for your loved one. A personal injury lawyer can determine if the inmate really has a case, and if he or she does, a personal injury lawyer can help this inmate get the compensation deserved in this situation.