Victims of police shootings in Louisiana may be able to claim financial compensation for their losses. Reach out to our New Orleans shooting victim lawyers to see if we can help you.
As with accident victims, survivors and victims of police shootings also deserve victim compensation funds (VCF) for the severe injuries or loss of life that resulted due to negligence on the part of the law enforcement agencies. Police officers, though trained specifically for handling tough situations, can still make mistakes. However, the occurrences of such errors are high enough for it to be a concern for everyone.
Guns and safety don’t pair well, and when there’s a shootout, innocent bystanders can get caught up in the incident without it being their fault. Misfires can also lead to severe consequences, and several cases of deaths have been reported for the same. Victims of police shootings deserve to be compensated, and if they’ve passed away, their survivors can file a wrongful death claim.
However, since it is the police departments that are involved, things don’t usually play out in the victim’s favor. Usually, the claims of the victims or survivors get dismissed due to minor technicalities even if the case qualifies perfectly for compensation. The Wright & Gray law firm has professional and experienced attorneys on board to help you through such troubling times.
Defining a Police Shooting Victim In Louisiana
The victim is the individual who has suffered damages because of a violent crime, in this case, a police shooting. A victim may also pass away if the shot wounds turn out to be fatal. The person’s role in the whole event also affects their definition, i.e., their responsibility (if they are involved in illegal activity) in the whole scene. If the victim was involved in criminal conduct, that could jeopardize their position in this situation.
If the victim was not fully innocent in the matter, then their survivors may not be able to claim compensation for the loss of life.
Here’s how we define a victim in such situations:
- The individual who was either injured or killed due to the incident
- An individual who came to aid a victim of crime but faced injury or death themselves
- People who responded to a crime scene and got injured
In such cases, injury refers to both physical and emotional damage incurred upon the victim by the actions of the law enforcement official. Usually, state laws can deny people their compensation if they were intoxicated or otherwise showed criminal conduct, leading to the accident. It is also harder for victims to claim compensation from law enforcement officers if they’ve been convicted in the past, i.e., trouble with drugs or alcohol.
A lot of compensation denials are based on misconduct on the part of the victim.
But the underlying problem in this regard is that most victims of a police shooting or other violent crime (more like mishandling) are impoverished individuals living in at-risk areas. Thus, a sizeable percentage of people are denied their rightful compensation simply for being at the wrong place at the wrong time.
Defining a Claimant For Police Shootings in Louisiana
Other than the victim, there is another party that is involved in the whole affair – the claimant. By definition, this individual acts on behalf of the victim if they have died, been incapacitated, or are not of age yet. This individual assumes complete responsibility for the victim and may also be a dependent or survivor of the same, i.e., parents, spouse, children, etc.
This space can only be filled by an individual, preferably a family member or someone closely associated with the victim, not an agency, business, or organization.
How Do Victim Compensation Funds Work?
The victim compensation programs for people who’ve fallen prey to a crime tops out at around $50,000. These funds are usually drawn from the salary of the police officer responsible for the incident. Usually, victims have to offer solid proof for such claims and one such element is a police report, but this is complicated when the perpetrators of violence are police officers.
Victims may face only minimal trouble for seeking financial assistance if they have the necessary documentation, but without documented evidence for the incident, things will be very difficult. The police may misidentify the victim to avoid liability, or they may find excuses to reject the claim. Victims of physical abuse and emotional injuries from police or police shooting are at a higher risk of facing claim disqualification than otherwise.
The death of a legally innocent individual at the hands of the police is the same as executing innocent victims without any due process of the criminal justice system. VCFs are better suited for non-lethal cases because the short-term medical expenses, prolonged medical costs, out-of-pocket expenses, eligible expenses, and other expenses can be covered within the $50,000 cap.
Problems Regarding Compensation For Police Shootings in Louisiana
Police shooting victims usually have trouble getting compensated for their losses because of the liable party – the same guys they’re supposed to report to about the incident. Cooperating with the police is one of the basic duties of a citizen, so it is easy for law enforcement to assume that the police officer did not commit any wrongdoing. They were only doing their duty.
This is the case where a confrontation with the police becomes rough and a bullet goes off. Even if the victim did not actively contribute to causing the incident, the actions of the police officer are hard to prove as being criminal.
Plus, when handling such compensation claim cases, the police must either identify the individual who suffered from physical injuries as a victim or witness. If they do the latter, they can escape liability for the actions of their officer, and this is what they do.
Legal experts are pressing for police reforms to lessen the number of police killings and for providing assistance to victims of police violence. Questionable police shootings are a form of gross injustice, and victims of police misconduct are, in many cases, completely innocent, making them victims of crime to law enforcement.
But your lawyer can help you file a claim to receive compensation for the financial cost of the physical and emotional harm caused.
Let Wright & Gray Help!
You will need all the legal help you can get to pursue your case and get compensation benefits for your losses via the crime victim compensation program. The police can try to get your case dismissed even if you qualify for financial reimbursement. But you don’t have to suffer in silence or be intimidated. What you are demanding is well within your rights.
The Wright & Gray law firm is committed to helping victims of police shootings in Louisiana. Our lawyers offer a high level of personal attention to all of our clients. You can visit our office at your earliest convenience, share your experience with us, and then let us handle the rest.
Police shooting incidents are very tragic in that one does not expect to be harmed by the same people who’re supposed to be protecting us all. But once an incident has happened, the only way in front of you is the one that goes forward – there is no going back.
Call our office today and schedule a free case review.