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New York Police Shootings

We’ve all seen them-- video of police shooting a seemingly defenseless civilian. These videos have caused outrage because they appear to show the police shooting a civilian unnecessarily. While police are allowed to use deadly force, they are only allowed to use it when warranted. It is relatively uncommon for circumstances to require the police to shoot. Victims of unwarranted police shootings suffer serious injuries and many do not survive. Whether or not a police shooting is videotaped, victims of unwarranted police shootings or of other police brutality deserve justice. If you or a family member were shot by the police in an act of excessive force, you should immediately contact an experienced New York police shootings lawyer at Stephen Bilkis & Associates to discuss. We will review the facts of your case to determine if excessive force was used and discuss options for receiving justice for the injuries suffered.

Police Shootings and Excessive Force

In the course of their jobs, police may have to shoot their guns. However, there are specific situations when shooting is warranted. If it is not warranted, then the shooting would be considered excessive force. The police officer would be subject to departmental discipline and even criminal charges. The officer could also face civil liability.

Excessive force is defined as using more force than is necessary to diffuse the situation. In generally, police officers are expected to use the minimum amount of force to protect themselves and others. What amounts to excessive force various from situation to situations. When it comes to a police shooting, an example of excessive force would be shooting an unarmed suspect or shooting a suspect who did not pose any danger. To understand if the police used excessive force in your case, discuss it with an experienced New York police shootings lawyer.

Note that while an unwarranted police shooting is one example of the use of excessive force, there are others. For example, using a chokehold when arresting someone might involve excessive force, as would handcuffing such that the victim suffers nerve damage. Repeatedly kicking or punching a suspect while they are in custody or have been subdued would also amount to excessive force.

Civil Liability

If you suffered a serious injury from an excessive force police shooting, with the help of an experienced police shootings attorney in New York, you have the right to file a claim for both economic and non-economic damages.

Economic damages that are easily to determine because a dollar amount is assigned to them. They include medical expenses, funeral expenses, lost wages, and lost benefits. To prove economic damages, you would have to show bills, receipts, paystubs, and other employment records.

Non-economic damages are not as easy to determine because there are no “bills” attached to them. They are designed to compensate the victim for the emotional impact and diminished quality of life the victim suffered due to being shot by a police officer. Examples of non-economic damages include compensation for physical pain, emotional suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and permanent disability. To prove non-economic damages, the court may review medical records as hear testimony from family and friends.

As an experienced police shooting attorney serving New York can explain, a third type of damages that may be awarded for a police shooting are punitive damages. If the police officer and the police department demonstrated outrageous behavior that showed a blatant disregard for life, the victim may be awarded punitive damages. Punitive damages are often substantial and are designed to punish the behavior and deter similar behavior.

Contact Stephen Bilkis & Associates

Depending on the circumstances of the shooting, you may be eligible to file a civil claim and receive substantial damages for your injuries or for your loved one’s death. While shootings caught on videotape have been highlighted in the media, video of a shooting is not required for the victim to be awarded compensation. What is required is experienced representation. Contact Stephen Bilkis & Associates at 800.696.9529 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We have over two decades of experience fighting for justice for injured victims and their families. We represent clients in the Manhattan, Brooklyn, Long Island, Queens, Nassau County, Bronx, Staten Island, Westchester County, and Suffolk County.

Client Reviews
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From the very first phone call to Stephen Bilkis' office, the staff was extremely polite and helpful in assisting me. Mr. Bilkis was honest and upfront with me from the beginning in what he projected the outcome of my case would be; in the end we got better results than either of us anticipated. He was very genuine and compassionate in understanding my situation and how this legal matter could effect not only myself but my family as well. I highly recommend this law firm and will most definitely continue using them for any future legal needs. Jarrett
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