Can I Sue An Officer For Injuries That Resulted From My Arrest?

The police are granted the right to use some degree of force when arresting a suspect. However, some police officers use more force than is necessary and this can sometimes lead to a suspect becoming seriously injured. If you are injured, you might have a claim against the officer. However, this can often be a difficult case to win and you'll need to hire an experienced personal injury lawyer to maximize your chances of winning.

Police Force Must Be Reasonable

The level of force that an officer needs to use to be able to successfully detain you must be considered reasonable. If the amount of force used is considered to be excessive, you will be protected under the Constitution. For the level of force to be considered legal, the level of force must be necessary for the officer to be able to prevent you from escaping and must be necessary to protect the officer.

A common example of excessive force is when a suspect is already subdued and one of the officers continues to use force against the suspect. For example, the officer might hit the suspect while they are on the ground and in handcuffs.

Injuries Resulting from Excessive Use of Force

The types of injuries you might suffer as a result of your interaction with the police include broken bones, a head injury, eye injuries, and lacerations. You may also suffer from psychological and emotional trauma.


You will be able to file a civil lawsuit against the agency responsible for your injuries with the help of a personal injury lawyer. The officer might have used excessive force on purpose or they might have simply been negligent but you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries regardless.

The personal injury lawyer will need to show that the police officer had a duty of care, that the officer breached the duty of care, you were injured, and you suffered damages. Then, you may be compensated to pay for any damages you have suffered.

Compensation for Your Injuries

For example, if you must pay for long-term medical bills as a result of your injuries caused by the officer, you will be entitled to compensation for your medical bills. However, negotiating a settlement is very difficult because the police department will have experienced attorneys working for them and there might be biases against you if your arrest lead to criminal charges. Therefore, you will need to work with an experienced personal injury lawyer to maximize your chances of receiving compensation. 

To learn more, contact a company like Siben & Siben LLP