Baton Rouge, LA – When someone is hurt by a police officer, it can be difficult to successfully bring a lawsuit and receive compensation. However, skilled attorneys know the relevant burden of proof, and they can help their clients with presenting evidence and winning their cases. Understanding how the jury will be instructed regarding the burden of proof is crucial to arguing a case in a way that will be convincing. This is why help from an experienced lawyer is important for victims of police misconduct.
The burden of proof in civil police brutality cases
The plaintiff in a police brutality lawsuit must prove their case through clear and convincing evidence, which is the same standard used in many other civil cases. The clear and convincing evidence standard is not easy to define exactly, but it means that the facts presented and argued by the plaintiff are more likely to have happened than not happened, or that their version of the story is most likely true.
Evidence that proves misconduct
In an ideal situation, the victim will have concrete proof through videos, testimony, pictures, and documentation that the officer acted inappropriately. Things like footage of police violence, others who saw exactly what happened, and injuries to the plaintiff tend to leave little doubt that an incident of police brutality occurred. When someone is injured by an officer, this also tends to prove that the officer in question did not properly follow their training regarding use of force protocols. Because police do receive special training for how to handle crime and violent situations, it can be difficult to portray their use of force as a mere accident.
Defending an officer
Police departments have also come up with a number of ways to defend their actions over the years. This can include testimony from other law enforcement officers or criminal justice experts who will claim that the officer’s actions at the time were standard operating procedures or justified under use of force protocols.
Another related problem is that local prosecutors will rarely bring criminal charges against an officer for unnecessary violence, unless their actions were clearly egregious and outside the boundaries of any acceptable law enforcement conduct. As a practical matter, officers are rarely charged or convicted in criminal court, which means that a civil case for the misconduct in question is the most realistic option for victims.
Help from police misconduct lawyers
Miller, Hampton, and Hilgendorf is a firm that deals with personal injury law and accident lawsuits in the Baton Rouge area. Anyone who has recently been hurt can schedule a meeting with their attorneys to receive advice and guidance about the process of bringing a lawsuit.
Firm contact info:
3960 Government St., Baton Rouge, LA 70806