Robenalt Law — Seeking Justice for People Killed in Prison or Police Custody
As Black Lives Matter protests take place across the country and we collectively mourn the death of George Floyd and others who died at the hands of law enforcement officials, we are reminded that people who have been placed under arrest and people who have been convicted of a crime still have the Constitutional rights, chief among them the right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment.
When someone dies in prison or in police custody, family members are often left wondering what happened but receive little to no explanation. When questions to police officers and prison officials go unanswered, a lawyer can help your family find the answers you need.
Inmates and Pretrial Detainees Have Rights
People who have been arrested or convicted may lose some of their civil rights, but they still have the right to be treated humanely. This includes a Constitutional guarantee to be free from cruel and unusual punishment, to have access to medical care, and to be protected against violence by other inmates. If someone you love was killed while in prison or police custody, an experienced Cleveland jail death lawyer can help you get answers to your questions, and seek justice for your family.
Common Causes of Jail Death
Just because someone has been placed under arrest or is in prison they do not lose all of their rights. People who have been placed under arrest or are in prison have constitutional protections that include the right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment, the right to be protected from violence by other inmates, and other protections that require police officers and jailers to refrain from using excessive force and to provide adequate physical and mental healthcare.
Alcohol or drug withdrawal, denial of medical care, death due to restraints, excessive force by jail personnel, and inmate suicide are among the most common causes of death for people who are in jail or police custody. If someone you loved died while in jail or the custody of the police, your family may have a claim for:
Failure to monitor a medical condition
Failure to properly assess medication needs
Failure to provide medical care
Failure to provide suicide watch
Illegal use of chokeholds or tasers
Failure to protect from other inmates
Law enforcement officers, as well as county jails, city jails, state prisons, federal prisons, and private companies that operate jails or provide healthcare to inmates, can all be held responsible for jail deaths.
At Robenalt Law, our lawyers have the experience, expertise, and resources to uncover what really happened and to help your family find closure and recover financially for the tragedy of death while in jail or police custody. We fight hard for our clients, demanding all relevant documentation, taking depositions of officers and jail personnel who were involved, and working closely with experts to help our clients obtain justice.
Cases of Jail death and death while in police custody are complex and require a careful and thorough analysis of federal and state law to determine what types of claims are available. The status of your family member plays a critical role in determining how to successfully present a claim for the death of your loved one. Inexperienced attorneys who are not familiar with the nuances of civil rights and jail death claims may fail to appreciate the different legal standards that apply based on whether your loved one was under arrest, a pretrial detainee, or a convicted prisoner, that proving ‘deliberate indifference’ requires a higher burden of proof than a negligence claim, and that successfully pursuing a jail or custodial death claim often requires showing a pattern, practice, or custom.
How Does a Wrongful Death Lawsuit for Jail Death Help?
When someone you love dies while in prison or police custody, holding the responsible parties accountable usually takes the form of a settlement or verdict for wrongful death. While no amount of money can bring back your loved one or fully make up for your loss, financial compensation can help by:
Replacing your loved one’s expected earnings
Providing financial protection for the survivors of the deceased
Compensating the estate of deceased for pain and suffering prior to death
Paying for funeral and burial costs
Compensating the family of the deceased for loss of inheritance, loss of companionship, loss of consortium, and loss of parenting
Robenalt Law - Seeking Justice for People Killed in Jail
If someone you love was killed in prison or while in police custody, the lawyers at Robenalt Law are here to help. We will thoroughly investigate your case, analyzing applicable state and federal laws to help you seek justice and obtain compensation for the death of your loved one. We will investigate the facts that lead to the death of your loved one, gather evidence to hold the responsible parties accountable, and show how the loss of your loved one impacted the future for you and your family. We will fight for justice, and to make sure that you and your family are fairly compensated.
Tom Robenalt started his litigation career at a large firm in Cleveland where he represented corporate defendants and insurance companies. For the past 25 years, he has used that experience to help victims and their families secure compensation for injuries and wrongful death that occur when people are placed under arrest or are in prison.
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