I’ve been Injured by Police in Ontario: What do I do?
Cases involving issues of potential liability by the police for injuries caused to third parties are complicated because they often cross legal issues that cover torts, administrative, criminal, and constitutional law issues.
The types of law involved in a potential police liability case for injuries can be impacted by whether the injured party is merely a bystander or a potential criminal that is being pursued by the police officer.
Motor vehicle accidents involving police
In general, if a police officer causes a motor vehicle accident with a third party while in the course of duty, liability can be assigned based on the standard determinations of negligence. This would be addressed through the insurance system and there are potentially special rules that apply to claims involving negligence by governmental employees.
Injuries suffered during arrest or a negligent investigation
In Ontario, the courts have also now allowed claims for negligent investigation if law enforcement fails to act reasonably in conducting an investigation. If this results in an injury and falls beyond the normal bounds of basic discretion, this could lead to civil liability for the law enforcement officer.
Bystander Injuries involving the police
Often innocent third parties suffer personal injuries due to law enforcement conduct simply by being in the wrong place at the wrong time. If law enforcement was negligent in causing the injury to the bystander, that may form a basis for action. This may be the case if a bystander is hit as a pedestrian or other similar circumstance and would be slightly different than a claim involving a car accident.
Steps to take following an injury involving the police
The first step to take if you are the victim of an injury suffered at the hands of law enforcement is to gather as much information about the law enforcement officer involved and the facts of the incident that occurred.
You may need to make a report to the law enforcement agency involved who may also then direct you to further action.
Depending on the nature of the incident or accident that caused the injury, the law enforcement officer may face disciplinary action as a result. If this does occur, this could serve as evidence to prove claims of negligence.
If damage occurred to your vehicle or property at the hands of law enforcement, you should also promptly notify your insurance carrier as soon as possible. The same is true concerning your health insurance provider.
If you have an opportunity to take pictures or right notes concerning the accident or injury, do so as soon as you are able because it is often helpful to have contemporaneous documentation.
Seek legal help
Injuries that result from the conduct of law enforcement are more complicated than typical personal injury claims. Understanding the applicable law and process is critical in successfully pursuing a claim. Claims involving injuries caused by the police can be complex. To discuss options for financial recovery that might be available to you after being injured by a police officer, contact Preszler Injury Lawyers today and receive a free initial consultation. Call 1-800-JUSTICE today for your cost-free, personalized, no-obligation first meeting.