You have the constitutional right to participate in a peaceful protest. But unfortunately, there are times when a peaceful demonstration turns rowdy and results in casualty usually as a result of the violent conduct of vandals or excessive use of force by the police.
If you or your loved one ever got injured during a protest, then you want to read this article to the end to know what you can do to seek redress and pursue compensation from the perpetrators to recover your injuries and damages.
The legal route to take if you can prove that someone was responsible for your injuries is to file a lawsuit against the responsible party. Filing a personal injury lawsuit or human right violation claim, depending on the nature of your case, is necessary to ensure that you don’t have to bear the cost of treating the injuries you never caused.
Who Can You Hold Responsible for Injuries During a Protest?
- Depending on the circumstances surrounding your case, you can possibly hold someone or a group responsible for injuries you sustained during a protest. The following are common causes of injuries during a protested and the right action you can take to pursue compensation:
- If you fell and broke your legs or arms due to a wet floor or broken rail, you might be able to file a premises liability claim against the owner or manager of the property. There’s a just ground for filing this type of lawsuit especially if you can prove that the owner failed to take necessary safety measures to prevent this injury.
Although the injury occurred during a protest, the standard criteria for premises liability could still apply. To recover a fair compensation to cover your medical bills and other losses, you need to engage the service of an experienced personal injury lawyer. Different states have different rules and time limits for victims of personal injuries to seek redress. Get in touch with a lawyer in your area to know your options, and best way to maximize compensation.
- Law enforcement agents like police are meant to protect people and their property. But things can get really messy during protests. On several occasions, police use of excessive force or violent acts have led to injuries, deaths, and civil rights violations that shouldn’t have happened if caution was observed.
Injuries may occur in the process of the police trying to break up or disperse the demonstrators. Recent protests in the United States featured some horrible scenes where police were using what they term “nonlethal” or “less-lethal” weapons such as batons, pepper balls and sprays, tear gas, rubber bullets or bean bag rounds.
- Common injuries arising from police brutality include broken bones, internal bleeding, head injuries, concussions, traumatic brain injuries, shortness of breath, bruising and spike in blood pressure from tear gas.
If you ever get injured in the process of police’s use of force to restrict your right to protest, then you may file a lawsuit against the responsible party. However, taking on the police in a lawsuit is never a walk in the park. This is because law enforcement agents are government employees who enjoy some level of “qualified immunity” from certain lawsuits. Meanwhile, this doesn’t mean that they cannot be held liable. To get justice, you need an experienced police brutality attorney on your side.
Assault by Another Person
- Sometimes, a protest can become rowdy as a result of misunderstanding among demonstrators. The rowdiness could also arise from disagreement with a counter-protester. In the event that you’re assaulted by another person, it is a criminal matter which you can file a lawsuit to address. However, if your injuries were as a result of the negligent or carefree conduct of another individual, then you might have grounds for a personal injury case.
Either way, the important thing is to hold the responsible person liable and get the fair compensation to cover your medical bills and other damages such as lost wages. In some cases, you can hold more than one person liable for your injury. For example, if you were assaulted by someone during a protest, and there were no security personnel on ground to rescue you, you can pursue a claim against the responsible person as well as the organizer of the protest for their failure to maintain a safe environment.
- Likewise, it is possible to file a claim against the city or state authorities if you were assaulted on public property. However, you must be able to prove that the city or state was negligent and failed to provide adequate security.
Should You Rely on Your Health Insurance Provider for Compensation?
- You’re likely going to face issues with your health insurers if you try to file a claim for your injuries. For one, most insurance policies do not cover injuries sustained during a riot. In cases where your insurance policy covers it, insurance companies can be dubious and you cannot trust them to provide just and fair compensation.
Insurance companies are for-profit organizations that mainly care about their bottom lines. They will use various tactics to minimize your compensation. The only person you can trust to fight for you is your lawyer.
Take the following steps if you ever got injured in a protest:
- Take a proper note of how the incident transpired
- Involve the authority, i.e. the police
- Get the identity and contact information of the responsible person, including their insurance information
- Exchange contacts with eyewitnesses at the scene of the incident
- Get immediate medical treatment
- Contact a lawyer to commence the process of pursuing compensation