If you or a loved one are serving a jail or prison sentence, the possibility of an injury may come up. There are many different situations in which a person may be injured while under the care of the Department of Corrections (DOC). On this page, I discuss some of the most common situations in which an inmate may be injured, and what you can do if you or a loved one sustained an injury.
Common Jail and Prison Injuries
While inmates in Connecticut and throughout the United State enjoy certain rights, and guards are supposed to protect inmates from harm, injuries still occur in both jails and prisons. If health and safety precautions are not enforced, the following common injuries may occur:
- Slip and fall accidents. These accidents can occur anywhere, including in incarceration facilities. If flooring is uneven or wet, it can be especially difficult for an inmate to keep their balance when shackled. If a person is handcuffed or has other shackles on, slip and fall accidents can be serious because the inmate will not have the opportunity to break their fall. Injuries may range from cuts and bruises to concussions, broken bones, and muscle strains.
- Assault. One inmate may be assaulted by another inmate or even a Department of Corrections worker. Injuries may be physical or sexual in these cases.
- Transportation vehicle accidents. Prisoners travel to and from court, medical facilities, and other locations in transport vehicles. If the vehicle gets into an accident, it can result in injuries for the passengers.
- Inappropriate medical care. If medical care is not up to the necessary standards, it can result in injury or illness for inmates. If medical care is withheld or poorly given, many injuries and illnesses can worsen and cause serious problems for prisoners.
- Unsanitary facilities. Jail or prison conditions can be subpar, and can lead to issues such as widespread infection, food poisoning, and more. Issues such as poor hygiene, improper food treatment, improper toilet facility cleaning, and more can cause issues for inmates. Dangerous facility conditions. Issues such as poorly trained staff, overcrowding, lack of inmate safety planning, and more can cause harm to prisoners.
Can You Sue the Department of Corrections?
If you or a loved one sustained an injury in a jail or a prison, you may be able to file a lawsuit and receive compensation. To succeed in a personal injury claim or a lawsuit, you will have to prove the following:
- The correctional facility had a duty of care towards you which it breached.
- The correctional facility reasonably should know that an action or lack thereof would cause harm.
- The negligence displayed by the correctional facility resulted in an injury.
Also consider that depending on if you are in a private or state-run facility, the staff members of the facility may be protected by qualified immunity. This is the case for state and federal facilities and employees. Qualified immunity protects against liability in many cases.
As you can see, it can be difficult to successfully receive compensation and justice for an injury sustained in a prison or jail. If you are interested in protecting yourself and seeking justice, contact my office. We have worked with civil rights cases in the past, and we can help you if you have been injured.