When speaking to, investigating, or arresting an individual in the City of Philadelphia, law enforcement officers are required to respect that person’s civil rights. Unfortunately, it is not unusual for members of the Philadelphia Police to fail to live up to their obligations.
So, what can you do if a law enforcement officer decides to trample on your rights? Well, with the help of a skilled Philadelphia violation of civil rights & police brutality lawyer, you may be able to file suit against the department and recover a sizable compensation check. You can find plenty of attorneys who can assist you with your battle right here at Zavodnick, Zavodnick & Lasky, LLC.
How Our Law Firm Can Help You Fight for Compensation After Civil Rights Violations
At Zavodnick, Zavodnick & Lasky, LLC, we believe that the Philadelphia Police Department should be held accountable for the actions of its officers. So, when you hire us to help you fight for compensation, we will:
Thoroughly Investigate Your Case
Achieving a favorable outcome to a civil rights lawsuit typically requires a lot of evidence of misconduct and illegal activity. In most cases, the best way to find this evidence is to conduct a thorough investigation into the matter.
Having spent many years in the legal field, the attorneys here at Zavodnick, Zavodnick & Lasky, LLC, are experts at investigating civil rights and police brutality cases. As soon as you hire us, we will begin interviewing witnesses and reviewing surveillance footage to try to turn up the evidence you need.
Negotiate a Settlement Deal with the City
Once the lawsuit has been filed and the City of Philadelphia realizes you are serious about your pursuit of compensation, they are likely to offer you a settlement agreement. Of course, before you consider accepting their deal, it is generally smart to try to negotiate its terms.
The team here at Zavodnick, Zavodnick & Lasky, LLC, has spent years negotiating settlement deals with the City of Philadelphia. During that time, we have learned many of the best tactics and techniques to use to convince them to improve their offers. When you work with us, we will use all of our experience and skill to try to hammer out a fair deal for you.
Argue on Your Behalf in Court
If the City of Philadelphia is unwilling to agree to a fair settlement deal, your pursuit of compensation will almost certainly end up in court. There, a judge and jury will review your case and determine whether or not your rights were violated. Should they rule in your favor, they will also decide how much compensation you will receive.
Over the years, our lawyers have represented countless victims of civil rights violations in court. As such, we understand how to argue a case in a way that truly resonates with the judge and jury. When you hire us, you can be confident that you will receive a fair and unbiased trial.
Are you ready to enlist the help of a Zavodnick, Zavodnick & Lasky, LLC, civil rights attorney in your battle against the Philadelphia Police Department? If so, please give us a call today to set up a free initial consultation with a member of our legal team.
Common Civil Rights Violations in the State of Pennsylvania
There are, unfortunately, a wide range of different ways that law enforcement officers can violate the rights of the people they are paid to protect. A brief list of some of the most common civil rights violations in the state of Pennsylvania would include:
- False arrest
- Rape and sexual assault
- Racial profiling
- Illegal search and seizure
- Planted evidence
- Wrongful death
If you have been the victim of any of these violations, and need an experienced civil rights lawyer to stand up and help you fight for compensation, please do not hesitate to reach out to the law firm of Zavodnick, Zavodnick & Lasky, LLC, in Philadelphia. We offer free consultations.
Do You Have the Right to File Suit Against the Philadelphia Police Department?
All citizens and residents of the United States are granted certain constitutional protections. These protections are designed to allow them to live their lives with minimal interference from the police, the government, and other authorities.
For instance, under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, Americans are granted the right to speak freely and peaceably assemble. The Second Amendment allows them to purchase, carry, and use firearms. And the Fourth Amendment protects them from unreasonable search and seizure.
Of course, these rights aren’t just outlined in the U.S. Constitution. For the residents of Philadelphia, they are also reinforced and expanded upon in the Pennsylvania Constitution.
When a police officer carries out an action that violates an individual’s rights, that person has the ability to sue them to recover compensation for their damages. This power is codified in 42 U.S.C. §1983, which states that:
“Every person who, under color of any statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage, of any State or Territory or the District of Columbia, subjects, or causes to be subjected, any citizen of the United States or other person within the jurisdiction thereof to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws, shall be liable to the party injured in an action at law, suit in equity, or other proper proceeding for redress.”
As part of its ruling on the Cort v. Ash (1975) case, the Supreme Court provided the following four-part test for determining whether or not an individual that believes that their rights have been violated can move forward with their lawsuit under this statute:
- The victim is a member of the class for whose benefit the statute was enacted
- There is some evidence of congressional intent to confer a private remedy
- There is a level of consistency between the right to sue and Congress’ statutory intent
- The victim’s claim involves a cause of action that is not traditionally relegated to the states
The legal team here at Zavodnick, Zavodnick & Lasky, LLC, has spent years helping Philadelphians hold the government and the police accountable for their actions. If you would like to have one of our skilled attorneys review your case and let you know if you should move forward with a lawsuit, just pick up the phone and give us a call.
How Much Compensation Do the Victims of Civil Rights Violations and Police Brutality Typically Receive?
The amount of compensation doled out to the victims of civil rights violations in Philadelphia varies significantly from one case to the next. In most cases, however, there is a direct correlation between the impact that the police department’s unlawful actions had on an individual’s life and the size of their settlement check.
Most victims receive compensation for at least a few of the following damages:
- Medical bills
- Rehabilitative care costs
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
The families of individuals who are unlawfully killed by the Philadelphia Police Department may also be eligible to recover compensation for funeral and burial costs.
In recent years, the City of Philadelphia paid out the following amounts to the victims of police misconduct:
- 2016: $6.7 million
- 2015: $7.3 million
- 2014: $10.9 million
- 2013: $14.1 million
If you would like to find out how much your civil rights case may be worth, please reach out to the team here at Zavodnick, Zavodnick & Lasky, LLC, today. Our attorneys in Philadelphia have years of experience assessing cases and would love to meet with you to learn more about yours.
How Long Do I Have File Suit Against the Police?
In the state of Pennsylvania, the victims of police misconduct are generally required to file suit against the department within two years of the date that they were assaulted, raped, or illegally searched. Should they fail to begin the legal process on time, they are likely to lose their right to claim compensation.
The most noteworthy exception to this general rule is cases that involve children. Since kids do not have the ability to bring forth a lawsuit, their two-year window does not begin on the date that their rights were violated. Instead, it starts on the first day that they can legally claim compensation – their 18th birthday.
If your rights were violated by the Philadelphia Police Department and you believe that your filing window may be about to close, please reach out to the team here at Zavodnick, Zavodnick & Lasky, LLC. We may be able to help you submit a compensation claim in an expedited manner.
Need an Experienced Philadelphia Violation of Civil Rights & Police Brutality Lawyer? Reach Out to Our Law Firm Today
The personal injury attorneys here at Zavodnick, Zavodnick & Lasky, LLC, have been providing the people of Philadelphia with legal advice and guidance for many years. If you have been assaulted, raped, or racially profiled by a law enforcement officer in our city, you can count on us to help you fight for compensation. To set up a free consultation with a member of our knowledgeable legal team, just give us a call or contact us online.