What damages can I recover if I win an Illinois police brutality case?

You have the right to financial compensation if a police officer acted with excessive force and caused you to suffer an injury.

Compensatory Damages

If your police brutality claim is successful, then you will be able to recover compensatory damages for all of the losses related to your injuries, including past and future:

  • Medical expenses. All of your healthcare costs, including hospitalizations, surgeries, medications, doctors’ visits, physical therapy, and other rehabilitation therapies should be part of your legal recovery.
  • Lost income. You may be unable to work at all or unable to work the same hours or the same job that you did before the police brutality incident. Any lost income such as wages, benefits, or income from self-employment that you can’t earn should be part of your recovery.
  • Physical pain and emotional suffering. You may be very hurt both physically and mentally, and you may be able to recover for these damages even though they will be hard to prove.
  • Other specific financial damages. Any other out-of-pocket costs that you incur because of your injuries should be part of your legal settlement or court verdict.

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages may be awarded if the court finds that that officer’s conduct was particularly egregious. Unlike compensatory damages which are typically paid by the municipality or the state, punitive damages are supposed to be paid by the officer who caused the injury.

According to a 2017 article in the Chicago Tribune, however, many police officers never pay the punitive damages that are awarded to the plaintiff. Instead, punitive damages may be negotiated away. The city could, for example, agree not to appeal the compensatory damages if the plaintiff agrees to forego the punitive damages that were awarded. This practice of negotiating away punitive damages may undercut the intent of the law and be unfair to people hurt by police brutality.

You deserve all of the damages that the law allows. Talk to an experienced police brutality attorney today about how to protect your rights and what damages you may realistically recover if you pursue a lawsuit. Call us or fill out our online contact form at any time to schedule a free consultation in any of our Illinois offices or to have us come to you to discuss your potential case.

Jason F. Abraham
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Helping car accident and personal injury victims throughout Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa since 1993.