If you suffered injuries due to mistreatment by an employee or the unsafe conditions in jail, contact Evans Moore, LLC today. We may be able to represent you in your case and seek financial compensation for the harm someone caused. Inmates have certain rights, such as the right to humane facilities and conditions, and you should be able to serve your sentence in a safe environment.
Jail misconduct can take many forms. Abuse, negligence, and lack of medical care are just a few examples of the injustices individuals in jails throughout South Carolina face each day. When the system fails you and you suffer physical injuries, you deserve to hold the at-fault party liable.
At Evans Moore, LLC, we take cases like this seriously and will fight to advocate for your rights and seek the justice you deserve. Call (843) 995-5000 to speak with one of our Georgetown jail misconduct lawyers and discuss your legal options.
Common Causes of Jail Injuries
When you’re incarcerated, you give up a lot. You lose some of your civil rights, but you still have the right to basic human needs, such as food, shelter, and healthcare. Unfortunately, many inmates suffer abuse and neglect at the hands of officials and other employees who are supposed to keep them safe.
Below are some of the most common causes of injuries inmates sustain in jail:
- Assault – Injuries can arise when another inmate assaults someone. Guards should stop any fights that break out, so no one gets hurt. However, there are times when they turn a blind eye and allow situations like this to occur.
- Sexual Assault – Sexual assault can happen in jails due to negligence and lack of supervision. Another issue in jails is them not taking action against an individual who has been accused of sexual misconduct. If you were a victim of either situation, you may be eligible for compensation.
- Insufficient medical treatment – When injuries occur, medical staff must provide adequate care. Failing to provide this care or hiring unqualified nurses could lead to further injuries, infections, and even death.
- Unsanitary conditions – Jail officials must maintain a clean facility so inmates aren’t subject to infections, viruses, and other problems.
- Transport accidents – Prisoners sometimes need to appear in court, go to the hospital, or participate in work programs outside of the jail. Employees will drive them to and from these places, but the driver and facility could be liable for resulting injuries if an accident occurs.
- Poorly trained staff – Staff members should undergo training to interact with inmates and handle emergencies. Someone who isn’t appropriately trained might deal improperly with an insubordinate inmate or ignore their request to see a doctor.
Jail officials might think that they can get away with treating prisoners poorly just because they are in a position of power. However, that’s not the case. They have a legal duty to ensure every inmate’s health and safety. You might think you’re powerless to seek justice for the misconduct you were forced to endure, but you have rights, and you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries or losses.
Laws That Could Affect Your Case
Unfortunately, it can be challenging for inmates to pursue a legal case for the injuries they sustain due to the negligent actions of others. The Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA) aims to prevent prisoners from filing lawsuits against the facility or its employees. You are only allowed to file a lawsuit after you exhaust all administrative remedies. That means you must try to resolve the issue through the prison’s grievance process first.
You would have to submit a written complaint to a prison official detailing what happened. You also have to exhaust all administrative appeals. You can only pursue a lawsuit if you tried and failed with every option available to you through the prison system.
State and federal employees have protection from being held liable for someone’s injuries under qualified immunity laws. This means that the jail official would not be financially responsible for any losses you suffered as long as they didn’t violate your constitutional or statutory rights. The only exception to this rule is employees working in privately-run prisons and jails that don’t have the same immunity protections as government employees.
You could only file a lawsuit against the correctional officer for the injuries you suffered if you’re able to prove the following:
- They violated your statutory or constitutional rights, and
- They knew what they were doing was illegal.
Private citizens can typically file a claim for compensation with the at-fault party’s liability insurance company. However, inmates must comply with procedures under the Federal Tort Claims Act. That means you can only challenge the prison employee’s immunity if your injuries resulted from negligence.
The first step in this process is to complete and file Standard Form 95. This is essentially a notice informing the federal government that you intend to pursue a claim for monetary compensation. The deadline to file this type of claim is two years from the injury date. If the Department of Justice accepts your claim, you will receive compensation. However, if they deny your claim, you would have six months to file a lawsuit if you want to pursue the matter further.
County, state, and city jails follow their own tort claims laws. Unfortunately, that could mean you’re not entitled to pursue legal action for compensation of your injuries. Evans Moore, LLC is familiar with these laws and can determine if it’s possible to file a lawsuit against the facility or a specific employee for their misconduct.
The United States Constitution also offers certain protections to individuals serving time in federal, state, and municipal institutions. The Eighth Amendment prohibits the use of cruel and unusual punishment. During incarceration, you should remain protected from the following:
- Rape and other types of sexual assault
- Unsafe conditions, such as overcrowding or inadequate security
- Excessive force and physical brutality
- Unhealthy conditions associated with hygiene, medical care, food, and shelter
If you suffered a form of jail misconduct and ended up with injuries, you should immediately hire a South Carolina jail misconduct lawyer. You’re facing an uphill battle that you might not win if you don’t seek legal representation. At Evans Moore, LLC, our clients are important to us. We believe that everyone should have a fair chance at recovering compensation after injuries caused by others’ wrongdoings.
Compensation You’re Entitled to After Jail Misconduct Causes Your Injuries
When a civilian files a claim or lawsuit, they have the right to pursue compensation for their medical bills, out of pocket costs, and other expenses associated with the injury. However, prisoners don’t have to pay for their medical treatment, and loss of income is minimal, considering they don’t get paid much for their jobs.
The compensation you would ultimately receive is for any future losses you suffer when you get out of jail. Those losses could include:
- Medical bills
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Attorney’s fees
- Out of pocket expenses
Compensation for losses suffered by family members:
- Loss of consortium
- Wrongful death
Evans Moore, LLC can review your case and determine the maximum financial award you deserve to cover your losses. We have experience maximizing our clients’ claims, so the at-fault party is held accountable for their actions and pays what they owe. We won’t allow anyone to violate your rights or treat you unfairly during legal proceedings. You can depend on us to fight by your side throughout your case.
Speak to an Experienced Georgetown Jail Misconduct Lawyer Today
At Evans Moore, LLC, we have a reputation for providing aggressive legal representation for our clients. We never back down from a fight and always use every available resource to recover the full compensation our clients need and deserve. We know you might feel helpless after sustaining injuries in jail, but you have legal options to hold the negligent official accountable for their actions. You can depend on us to thoroughly investigate the circumstances of your injury or illness and build a strong case on your behalf.
Throughout your case, we will be available to answer your questions, update you on the status of your case, and provide the support and guidance you need during this emotional time. Our firm has received recognition from multiple national organizations for our hard work and the favorable results we’ve been able to reach for accident victims in South Carolina. Our goal is always to serve our clients’ best interests, so they can recover from their injuries and put this traumatic experience behind them.
The Georgetown jail misconduct lawyers of Evans Moore, LLC are ready to provide you with compassionate and dependable legal services. Call us for a free consultation today at (843) 995-5000, and we’ll begin working on your case immediately and get you on the road to recovery.