Wellborn Paluch, LLP Blog

Friday, April 1, 2016

Personal Injury Lawsuits Stemming From Incidents in Correctional Facilities on the Rise in New York

Can an inmate file a personal injury lawsuit stemming from an incident that occurred in a correctional facility?

Being incarcerated is scary. It can become even more frightening when you take into account the level of violence that exists in most correctional facilities. If you are an inmate or worker in a correctional facility and have suffered an injury as a result of an act of violence or an accident, you do have rights. You should know that you have the ability to file a personal injury lawsuit against the governmental body that operates the facility. Recently, the number of such cases has been on the rise in New York City.

In 2014, there were 2,245 of this type of personal injury lawsuit filed against the City. In 2015, that number rose 27 percent to 2,846 and it seems it will go up yet again in 2016 based on the numbers available for the first few months of the year. According to the New York City Comptroller, Scott M. Stringer, higher rates of violent encounters among inmates and between inmates and correctional facility staff are part of the reason for the spike in these lawsuits. These incidents include fights between inmates, inmate assaults on staff, and staff assault on inmates, some resulting in fatalities.

While these statistics focus on New York City, you can be compensated for injuries that occur in any of New York State’s correctional facilities. When filing a lawsuit against a governmental body, however, you might be subject to additional requirements beyond what is normally required to file a personal injury lawsuit. The most pertinent of these is the requirement of a Notice of Claim. This document is a prerequisite to a personal injury lawsuit of this nature and must be filed within 90 days of the incident.

If you have been injured as a result of a violent encounter or accident that has taken place in a New York prison or jail, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible.

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