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Excessive Force Lawyer

At Greenberg Law P.C., we are a team of dedicated personal injury lawyers based in New York City with experience in excessive force cases. Our mission is to advocate for the rights of individuals whom law enforcement agencies have unjustly treated. With a proven track record of challenging misconduct and holding those responsible accountable, our excessive force lawyers are ready to help.

What Constitutes Excessive Force in NYC?

excessive force lawyer

In New York City, as in other parts of the United States, determining what constitutes excessive force involves assessing whether a law enforcement officer’s use of force was reasonable under the circumstances at the time it was applied. This assessment is based on the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which protects individuals from unreasonable searches and seizures by the government, including law enforcement officers. The concept of reasonableness is central to understanding what constitutes excessive force. Here’s an overview of key considerations and examples:

Key Considerations in Determining Excessive Force:

  • Severity of the Crime: The seriousness of the alleged crime at issue plays a role in determining the appropriateness of the force used.
  • Immediate Threat: Whether the suspect posed an immediate threat to the safety of the officers or others at the time the force was used.
  • Resistance: Whether the suspect was actively resisting arrest or attempting to evade arrest by flight.
  • Other Means: Whether the situation could have been de-escalated or controlled through alternative, less forceful means.
  • Injuries Caused: The degree and nature of any injuries inflicted can also indicate whether the force used was excessive.

Examples of Excessive Force:

  • Unjustified Shooting: Using deadly force against a suspect who does not pose an immediate threat to the officer or others.
  • Unnecessary Physical Force: Applying physical force (e.g., punches, kicks, or strikes with a baton) when a suspect is already subdued or compliant.
  • Improper Use of Tasers or Pepper Spray: Deploying tasers, pepper spray, or other less-lethal tools when a suspect is not actively resisting or posing a threat.
  • Chokeholds and Restraining Techniques: The use of chokeholds, neck restraints, or other techniques can lead to unintended serious injury or death, especially when less harmful methods could have been used.

Legal Framework and Accountability

In NYC, the legal framework surrounding excessive force includes local, state, and federal laws and law enforcement agency policies. The NYPD’s Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB) and the Internal Affairs Bureau (IAB) are key entities involved in investigating allegations of excessive force.

Victims of excessive force or their families can seek justice and compensation through civil lawsuits against the officers and their departments. These cases often hinge on demonstrating that the force used was unreasonable under the circumstances, requiring detailed evidence and expert testimony.

Understanding what constitutes excessive force is crucial for holding law enforcement accountable and ensuring you get the maximum compensation. It’s also essential for informing citizens of their rights and the standards law enforcement officers must adhere to.

How an Excessive Force Lawyer Can Help

As a premier law firm deeply committed to protecting the rights of injured citizens, we at Greenberg Law P.C. understand the profound impact an incident of excessive force can have on individuals and their families. If you or a loved one has been subjected to excessive force by law enforcement in New York City, our dedicated team of excessive force lawyers is here to help. Here’s how we can assist you through this challenging time:

Free Initial Consultation

Your journey with us begins with a confidential, no-obligation consultation. During this initial meeting, we listen to your story, assess the merits of your case, and provide clear, straightforward legal advice. We aim to understand fully the circumstances surrounding your case to offer the most effective legal guidance possible.

Thorough Investigation

Our experienced lawyers and investigative team will comprehensively investigate your case. This involves gathering evidence, interviewing witnesses, obtaining surveillance footage, and, if necessary, consulting with experts in fields such as law enforcement practices, medical care, and use-of-force standards. Our thorough approach ensures we build the strongest case on your behalf.

Experienced Legal Representation

At Greenberg Law P.C., we are known for our aggressive representation of clients. We will file all necessary legal documents, negotiate with the relevant authorities or opposing counsel, and, if necessary, represent you in court. Our goal is to achieve the best possible outcome for you, whether that’s through a settlement or a jury verdict.

Personalized Support and Communication

We understand that navigating the aftermath of an excessive force incident can be overwhelming. Our team is dedicated to fighting for your legal rights and providing the support you need. We ensure you’re informed and comfortable throughout the legal process, explaining complex legal terms and procedures clearly and being available to answer any questions.

Advocacy for Justice and Compensation

Our excessive force lawyers are committed to holding those responsible for your suffering accountable. We tirelessly advocate for your right to justice and fair compensation for damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, emotional distress, and, in some cases, punitive damages intended to punish egregious misconduct.

Contingency Fee Basis

We believe everyone deserves access to justice, regardless of their financial situation. That’s why we work on a contingency fee basis, meaning you pay no legal fees unless we win your case. Our payment is a percentage of the settlement or award we secure for you, ensuring that our interests align with achieving the best outcome for your case.

What To Do if You Have Been a Victim of Police Brutality

If you believe you have been a victim of excessive force by a police officer, it’s crucial to take steps to protect your rights and well-being. The aftermath of such an encounter can be traumatic and confusing, but taking informed actions can help you seek justice and hold the responsible parties accountable. Here’s what you should do:

1. Seek Medical Attention

Your health and safety are paramount. Even if you do not immediately feel injured, some injuries, especially internal ones, may not immediately be apparent. Obtaining medical treatment also creates a record of your injuries, which can be vital evidence in your case.

2. Document Everything

As soon as you are able, document every detail of the incident. This includes the date, time, location, names, and badge numbers of the officers involved, as well as the names and contact information of any witnesses. Write down everything you remember about the incident, including what was said and done. If there are injuries, take photographs as soon as possible.

3. File a Complaint

File a formal complaint with the police department’s internal affairs division or civilian complaint board. This step formally initiates an investigation into the incident by the department. Keep a copy of the complaint and any correspondence for your records.

4. Obtain Legal Representation

Contact an experienced excessive force lawyer as soon as possible. A personal injury lawyer can provide you with legal advice tailored to your situation, help you navigate the complexities of the legal system, and represent your interests throughout the process. An attorney will also help in gathering evidence, filing a lawsuit, and negotiating settlements on your behalf.

5. Preserve Evidence

Preserve any evidence related to the incident. This includes clothing you were wearing at the time (do not wash them), any personal belongings damaged during the incident, medical records, and any documentation or communication related to the event.

6. Avoid Public Statements

Be cautious about making public statements or posting about the incident on social media. Anything you say publicly can potentially be used against you in your case. Consult with your attorney before making any statements or sharing information about the incident.

7. Request a Copy of the Police Report

You have the right to request a copy of the police report filed in connection with the incident. This report can provide crucial information for your case, though it may also contain inaccuracies or biases, which your lawyer can help address.

8. Stay Organized

Keep a detailed record of all documents, correspondence, and expenses related to the incident. This includes medical bills, receipts for any related expenses, letters from the police department, and communications with your lawyer.

9. Practice Self-Care

Experiencing or witnessing police violence can be extremely traumatic. Consider seeking support from a mental health professional to help you cope with the emotional and psychological aftermath. Taking care of your mental health is as important as addressing the legal aspects of the incident.

10. Engage with Support Groups

Connecting with support groups or organizations dedicated to victims of police violence can provide emotional support and additional resources. These groups can also offer guidance based on the experiences of others in similar situations.

Stand Up Against Excessive Force Now

Have you or a loved one been a victim of excessive force by law enforcement? It’s time to take action and demand justice. At Greenberg Law P.C., our experienced excessive force lawyers are committed to protecting your rights and ensuring you receive the compensation and justice you deserve. Don’t let your voice go unheard. Contact us today for a free, confidential consultation, and let us help you take the first step towards holding those responsible accountable. Your fight for justice starts here.

Excessive Force Lawyer FAQs

What is Excessive Force?

Excessive force refers to situations where law enforcement officers use more physical force than is reasonably necessary to control an incident, effectuate an arrest, or protect themselves or others from harm. The determination of “reasonableness” is based on the facts and circumstances at the time of the police action and considers factors such as the severity of the crime and whether the suspect poses an immediate threat.

How Can an Excessive Force Lawyer Help Me?

An excessive force lawyer has can help victims of police brutality by:

  • Providing legal advice and guidance on how to proceed with your case.
  • Investigating the incident, including gathering evidence and interviewing witnesses.
  • Filing a personal injury lawsuit against the officers or police department involved.
  • Representing you in court to seek justice and compensation for your injuries and suffering.
  • Negotiating settlements on your behalf.

What Kind of Compensation Can I Receive?

Compensation in excessive force cases may include:

  • Medical expenses (past and future).
  • Lost wages and loss of earning capacity.
  • Pain and suffering.
  • Emotional distress.
  • Punitive damages, in cases of particularly egregious conduct.

How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit?

The statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit varies by jurisdiction. In many cases, you have a limited time from the date of the incident to file a claim. It’s crucial to consult with an attorney as soon as possible to ensure your rights are preserved.

Will My Case Go to Trial?

Many excessive force cases are settled out of court. However, if a satisfactory settlement cannot be reached, your case may go to trial. An experienced attorney will prepare your case for trial from the outset, ensuring you are well-represented whether your case settles or proceeds to court.

How Much Does It Cost to Hire an Excessive Force Lawyer?

Many excessive force lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, meaning they only get paid if you win your case. Typically, the excessive force lawyer fee is a percentage of your compensation. Initial consultations are usually free, allowing you to explore your options without financial commitment.

Can I Afford to Hire an Excessive Force Lawyer?

Given that most excessive force lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, there are no upfront costs to hiring an experienced personal injury attorney. This makes legal representation accessible to those who cannot pay hourly or upfront fees.

How Do I Choose the Right Police Brutality Lawyer?

Choosing the right police brutality lawyer is critical. Look for an attorney with experience in excessive force cases, a track record of success, and whom you feel comfortable communicating with. Don’t hesitate to ask about their experience and outcomes in similar cases during your initial consultation.

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