Understanding Police Liability for Injuries

Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb & Green, P.C. Civil Rights

police car lights

The New York City Police have enormous responsibilities, but in some instances, they cause injury to those they were sworn to protect and serve. When the police hurt someone as a result of careless or reckless conduct – intentional or not – it is a breach of the officer’s duty. In some cases, it may be possible to pursue a claim for compensation, but the laws and procedures are very strict when it comes to making a police brutality or misconduct claim. This is an area that calls for the help of an experienced attorney.

When are the police liable for injuries?

Like others in society, the police are bound by the duty to perform their jobs properly. When they act careless or abuse their power, they may be legally liable for resulting damages. However, the circumstances of the case will determine whether the liability arises as a tort (the legal term for a civil wrong arising from a breach of duty that leads to someone’s injury) or as a civil rights violation.

When the police are carrying out their duties properly, they are immune from lawsuits. But in some cases, like when the police are abusing their authority in a way that deprives another of his or her rights, it can be a violation of constitutional rights.

Instances of injuries caused by police

Some of the actions by police that can lead to injuries include excessive force and car crashes during police chases.

The amount of force that an officer is permitted to use depends on the circumstances of the case. A degree of force that is excessive in one scenario may be reasonable in another. Even if the arrest is warranted, the amount of force must not exceed that which is reasonably necessary for that situation. The intentions of the officer are not the deciding factor; the officer may have an improper motivation, but that does not render otherwise appropriate force as excessive. And even if the officer meant well, it does not make excessive force acceptable.

Sometimes innocent bystanders are injured as a result of high-speed car chases. Like excessive force cases, whether the police are liable depends on reasonableness under the circumstances. Police officers and other first responders are generally immune from liability for accidents. However, when they act in such a reckless manner that they put bystanders at risk, the immunity disappears.

People can be injured by other actions of the police as well. For example, the officers may neglect to give someone in custody their necessary medication, leading to injury or death. Again, the continuing theme is that each case depends on an evaluation of reasonableness under the circumstances. It is therefore critically important to speak with an experienced attorney about any potential claims.

Pursuing a claim against the police for injuries

Because of the complex relationship between governmental immunity for the police and the city, state, and federal laws, claims for injury against government agencies need to be filed first against the entity. In New York, a claimant needs to file a Notice of Claim within 90 days of the incident. It is important to speak with a police brutality lawyer as quickly as possible after a police-related injury. 

The civil rights lawyers at Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb & Green invite those who have unfairly suffered because of NYC police actions to call to schedule a confidential consultation. From our Manhattan office, we serve clients throughout New York City, including the Bronx, Brooklyn, and also Long Island.

Additional Resources:

  1. New York City Bar, The Failure of Civil Damages to Modify Police Practices and Recommendations for Change, https://www.nycbar.org/member-and-career-services/committees/reports-listing/reports/detail/the-failure-of-civil-damages-claims-to-modify-police-practices-and-recommendations-for-change
  2. City of New York, File a Claim, https://comptroller.nyc.gov/services/for-the-public/claims/file-a-claim/

Early Action Can Minimize Pain After a Car Accident

Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb & Green, P.C. Automobile Accident

Auto accidents are an everyday reality in the greater New York City area – within the city alone, there were more than 228,000 car crashes 2018. Not every accident causes personal injuries, but more than 44,000 were reported in 2018.

Sometimes the injuries are immediately obvious, like broken bones, cuts, or paralysis. Other times, the injuries may not be apparent until days or weeks after the accident. In either case, the pain after a car accident may linger far longer than expected. It is important to take these facts into consideration when assessing injuries, and also when negotiating a personal injury settlement.

Assessing injuries after a car accident

Too often, accident victims refuse medical attention at the scene. Sometimes they do not realize they are injured at all, and sometimes they just wrongly assume that the injuries are not that serious. Unfortunately, many injuries can become more obvious later on as pain and inflammation increase.

Waiting to see a doctor can cause a few problems. First, it prevents early treatment that could lessen the pain in the long run. Second, it can give the false impression that the injuries and accompanying pain are exaggerated or otherwise not honest. The best course is to see a doctor as soon as possible after the accident, even if it does not seem that bad. It also helps to speak with a personal injury attorney to understand your rights and responsibilities going forward.

Common latent injuries

Due to changes in velocity that occur during a crash, even a low-speed impact can cause damage. Often the result is soft tissue injuries – injuries to the muscles, ligaments, and tendons, such as sprains and strains. Sometimes these heal on their own. Sometimes they need treatment in order to lessen the severity and duration of suffering.

After a car accident, neck pain may indicate a condition like whiplash, which is one of the most common injuries following a rear-end collision. Surprisingly, most cases of whiplash occur in low impact crashes. Whiplash can lead to long-term dizziness, headaches, and difficulty sleeping. Some of these conditions may be improved with physical therapy.

After a car accident, back pain may be a sign of strains or sprains in the spine, herniated discs, or even fractured vertebrae. Many of these injuries can cause serious, even permanent, impairment, yet go undetected for days or weeks after the accident. Seeking medical attention early on can limit the long-term damage.

Settling a car accident claim over lingering pain

Insurance adjusters strive to close files as quickly as possible, limiting the amount their companies pay on claims. If you have been injured and the crash was someone else’s fault, you can bet that the other driver’s insurance company will call quickly and offer you a low amount to settle quickly. Unfortunately, insurance settlements include releases of liability – you cannot go back to ask for more money later if the injury turns out to be more serious.

Before even thinking of entering a settlement, see a doctor and speak with a personal injury attorney. Your attorney will advocate for you to see that any settlement accounts for the costs of treatment and any suffering that your doctors reasonably anticipate in the future.

Speak with a NY car accident attorney

The first days after an accident can impact the coming years of your life. If you have been injured, promptly seek medical care and discuss your situation with a car accident lawyer at Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb & Green. From our Manhattan office, we passionately advocate on behalf of injured clients throughout New York City, including the Bronx, Brooklyn, all five boroughs, Westchester and Long Island. Call today to set up a free, confidential consultation.

Potential Liable Parties in a Car Accident

Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb & Green, P.C. Automobile Accident

When a quick errand run turns treacherous because of another driver’s inattention, you deserve to be compensated for your injuries. After any type of traffic collision where property damage and physical harm occurs, establishing liability is one of the most critical steps needed when it comes to securing damages for your claim.  

Various factors will ultimately determine which individual (or parties) is liable for the accident. For example, a driver is seriously hurt after another motorist cuts in front of her without signaling the move. The victim may be held partially responsible for the collision if it can be proven that she made an illegal lane change or was speeding at the time of the crash.

It can be challenging to prove fault in an accident, especially when who caused the accident is disputed. Proving fault requires hard evidence, ranging from police reports, eyewitness testimony and photos of the accident scene.

Determining accident liability and filing insurance claims in New York City’s five boroughs can be especially complex. For this reason, it’s crucial to seek legal advice as soon as possible. A lawyer will answer questions about your eligibility for legal recourse and begin a proper investigation into potential liable parties.

Who may be held accountable for car accident injuries?

While reckless or negligent driving behavior is a common allegation in car accident claims, there are other situations where liability may fall elsewhere. Take for instance an auto part manufacturer that distributes a defective ignition switch which causes a motorist to lose control of their vehicle and crash. Or, consider an SUV that is equipped with a faulty airbag that deploys randomly, causing severe injury.

Unfortunately, there are millions of cars and vehicle parts that have been recalled for defects and safety concerns over the years. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, vehicle defects were a factor in nearly 50,000 accidents last year.

Automobile manufacturers and makers of vehicle parts have a duty to design and manufacture products that are reasonably safe for their intended purpose. Depending on the unique circumstances of the accident, a product liability claim may be filed against the manufacturer of a faulty vehicle part, the automobile manufacturer or even the company that distributed the vehicle.

Discuss your case with NYC car accident lawyers

The law firm of Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb & Green has successfully taken on complex accident cases stemming from negligent driving, cell phone use, vehicle defects, equipment malfunction, and driver impairment, among other factors. Our veteran attorneys have a reputation for pursuing maximum compensation and achieving outstanding results for our clients. Determining fault in a motor vehicle collision requires in-depth investigations, supporting evidence and a thorough understanding of negligence and product liability laws. Establishing liability is not always cut and dry, particularly in multiple-vehicle crashes, where victims can benefit immeasurably from a trusted legal advocate.

Most personal injury cases arising from auto accidents in New York are resolved out-of-court, but a skilled car accident lawyer will protect your interests and take the case to trial if a settlement falls short. Call Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb & Green P.C. today to arrange a free case evaluation.

When Is a Lawsuit Against Pediatrician Necessary?

Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb & Green, P.C. Uncategorized

Parents and other caregivers understandably become invested in the well-being of the children in their care. When one of those children is harmed by a doctor who was supposed to make them well, the regret can feel overwhelming.

The New York City medical malpractice attorneys at Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb & Green often answer questions from parents who suspect pediatric malpractice as the cause of their child’s condition. Here are some of most common concerns.

How common is pediatric malpractice?

Compared to other areas of medical practice, pediatricians are less likely to be accused of malpractice. Despite this, a study by a major national malpractice carrier found that their malpractice payments are among the largest. This is a testament to the long-term effects that a breach in medical care can have on a child.

What constitutes pediatric malpractice?

Like other types of medical malpractice, pediatric malpractice occurs when a pediatrician or other health care provider acts negligently this means the treatment did not meet the standard of care that similarly-situated doctors would have provided – and that the negligence caused harm.

There are a number of ways a medical professional can commit malpractice. In pediatrics, the most common ways are:

  • Failure to diagnose a condition – meningitis tops the list of most common missed diagnoses, with appendicitis coming in second
  • Medication errors, whether caused by the wrong dose, mistakes in administration, problems in ordering, or something else

How is malpractice proved?

The practice of medicine is outside the scope of knowledge of the average juror. To bring a lawsuit, a plaintiff needs to provide expert testimony. An absolute necessity is an expert witness to explain what a reasonable doctor would have done in the same situation and how the defendant’s actions fell short. Other experts may be offered as well, including medical experts to explain the long-term impact of the injury, financial experts to illustrate the costs associated with care, or other experts that may be helpful for the specifics of the case.

How to file a pediatric malpractice case in New York

There are some requirements to meet in order to file a malpractice lawsuit in New York. As mentioned, a plaintiff must have an expert witness ready to state how the doctor’s treatment was negligent. In addition, the case must be filed within the statute of limitations period.

In general, the NY statute of limitations for malpractice is 2.5 years (30 months). However, it can be extended in certain cases including when the victim is a minor. Guessing when the statute of limitations runs can be disastrous so it is important to speak with an experienced NYC malpractice attorney.

If you suspect your child has been harmed by a doctor’s negligence, it is important to speak with a pediatric malpractice attorney who can help investigate the claim to determine whether it is viable. He or she will also formulate a legal strategy and oversee the litigation process.

The attorneys at Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb & Green know the process of malpractice claims inside and out and we handle them with seriousness and compassion. If your child has been injured by a medical professional, call one of our attorneys today. From our Manhattan office, we can take care of your legal needs, whether you are in the Bronx, Brooklyn, or elsewhere in NYC or Long Island.

Additional NY pediatric malpractice resources:

  1. NCBI, Pediatrics: Malpractice Risk Among US Pediatricians, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3666113/
  2. New York State Senate, Civil Practice Laws & Rules, Section 214-Ahttps://www.nysenate.gov/legislation/laws/CVP/214-A, https://www.nysenate.gov/legislation/laws/CVP/214-A

I Fell in a Parking Lot. Who Pays my Medical Bills?

Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb & Green, P.C. Uncategorized

By one estimate, approximately 11,000 pedestrians are injured in parking lots every year. Many of those injuries are the result of automobile collisions, but others happen due to unsafe conditions that cause pedestrians to fall. The slip and fall lawyers at Manhattan’s Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb & Green, P.C. help accident victims to recover payments for medical bills when a parking lot owner’s negligence creates dangerous conditions that lead to injuries from falling.

Determine who owns or manages the parking lot.

This can be a difficult task for parking lots at commercial shopping centers that serve many different tenants. These lots are generally managed by a contractor or property manager that will be responsible for repairing potholes, clearing ice and snow, and removing dangerous debris. Parking facilities owned by state or local governments pose a different challenge. If you fall in a public lot, you may be required to provide a prompt and preliminary notice to the appropriate government entity as a condition to filing a lawsuit to recover compensation for your medical expenses. An experienced slip and fall attorney is best able to analyze your accident and to determine which party is responsible for eliminating the dangerous parking lot conditions where you fell.

Record all information about the conditions that caused the parking lot fall.

Take pictures of the conditions that caused you to trip. If your fall occurred in the evening, check if all outdoor lighting is working properly. Note the exact location of your fall and how far you were from your destination when you fell. That information can be used as evidence to allocate responsibility to the party that will be responsible for your medical bills.

Get a prompt medical exam after your fall, even if you are not sure of who will pay the medical bills.

A prompt medical exam after you have fallen in a parking lot will establish an objective record of your injuries. If you wait several days or weeks to have a medical exam, the party that is ultimately responsible to pay compensation for your injuries might argue that intervening causes (e.g. other falls or accidents) are responsible for those injuries.

If you were on the job when you fell, you may have a worker’s compensation claim.

Your employer’s workers compensation insurance will cover medical expenses for injuries that you incur while you are on the job and performing work-related tasks.  If you are on the job when you fall in a parking lot, take careful note of what tasks you are handling and verify that those tasks are job-related.

Call Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb & Green, P.C. To Recover Damages for Injuries from Parking Lot Falls in New York

The accident lawyers in the Manhattan offices of Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb, and Green will fight for the compensation you need to pay your medical bills after a parking lot fall and to cover for lost wages when you are unable to work, among other expenses. We represent individuals that have suffered injuries in slip and fall accidents in Manhattan, Bronx, Brooklyn, and throughout NYC and Long Island. Please us today to schedule a no-cost case review with one of our knowledgeable and experienced slip and fall accident attorneys.

Can I Get Reimbursed for Damage from a Pothole?

Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb & Green, P.C. Automobile Accident

pothole in road

Those who drive around New York City regularly will not be surprised that potholes cause significant property damage and injuries. In fact, from 2009 to 2015, the city paid drivers $1.5 million in reimbursement for property damage and personal injuries due to potholes. Unfortunately, many more cases of damage and injury go unreimbursed. Here are some things you need to know to get compensation for damage from a pothole.

State and city liability for pothole damage

Whoever owns the road is responsible for keeping it properly maintained. When someone is injured or suffers damage because of a breach of this duty, that owning entity may be legally liable. However, the municipality or state must have had prior notice of the pothole at issue and failed to fix it. For example, for New York City to be responsible for your damages, its Department of Transportation must have written notice of the pothole at least 15 days before your accident.

If the pothole accident occurs on a road for which the state is responsible, and the pothole was weather-related, there is a good chance that the state will not be liable. According to Highway Law §58, the state cannot be held liable for damages suffered due to defects in state highways unless they occur between May 1 and November 15. This effectively eliminates liability for potholes due to winter freeze/thaw cycles.

How to recover compensation for a pothole accident

If you have a strong case for liability and clear evidence of damages, you may file a claim with the responsible entity. However, claims need to be filed in the right place, at the right time, and they are subject to caps.

There is a strict 90-day deadline to file a claim for loss. For a municipal claim, the notice of claim must be delivered to the Comptroller’s Office by one of the accepted methods – via the eClaim system, by personal delivery, or by registered or certified mail. For state claims, requests for reimbursement of property damage of up to $5,000 are filed with the Department of Transportation as a small claim. Claims above $5,000 need to be filed as an action in the Court of Claims. It is strongly advised to have an attorney help you do this.

The fight for compensation through government entities can be an uphill battle. Speak with a car accident lawyer about the possibility of filing a no fault insurance claim if your pothole accident falls outside the scope of city or state liability. Regardless of fault, the policy should provide payment for related economic losses. Be aware that the time to file a claim is limited to only 30 days after the accident.

Get help with your pothole accident claim

Whether the accident occurs in NYC or elsewhere in New York State, a pothole accident claim will be accompanied by strict procedures and deadlines. Take the hassle out of the process by speaking with a municipality lawyer who understands not only the steps involved in a successful claim, but also how to prove liability. The Manhattan pothole accident lawyers at Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb & Green, P.C. provide skilled and aggressive representation for those who have suffered loss because of someone else’s negligence. Call today to schedule a free and confidential case review.M

Early Action Can Minimize Pain After a Car Accident

Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb & Green, P.C. Automobile Accident

Doctor analyzing x-ray screening image in hospital office during medical exam

Auto accidents are an everyday reality in the greater New York City area – within the city alone, there were more than 228,000 car crashes 2018. Not every accident causes personal injuries, but more than 44,000 were reported in 2018.

Sometimes the injuries are immediately obvious, like broken bones, cuts, or paralysis. Other times, the injuries may not be apparent until days or weeks after the accident. In either case, the pain after a car accident may linger far longer than expected. It is important to take these facts into consideration when assessing injuries, and also when negotiating a personal injury settlement.

Assessing injuries after a car accident

Too often, accident victims refuse medical attention at the scene. Sometimes they do not realize they are injured at all, and sometimes they just wrongly assume that the injuries are not that serious. Unfortunately, many injuries can become more obvious later on as pain and inflammation increase.

Waiting to see a doctor can cause a few problems. First, it prevents early treatment that could lessen the pain in the long run. Second, it can give the false impression that the injuries and accompanying pain are exaggerated or otherwise not honest. The best course is to see a doctor as soon as possible after the accident, even if it does not seem that bad. It also helps to speak with a personal injury attorney to understand your rights and responsibilities going forward.

Common latent injuries

Due to changes in velocity that occur during a crash, even a low-speed impact can cause damage. Often the result is soft tissue injuries – injuries to the muscles, ligaments, and tendons, such as sprains and strains. Sometimes these heal on their own. Sometimes they need treatment in order to lessen the severity and duration of suffering.

After car accident, neck pain may indicate a condition like whiplash, which is one of the most common injuries following a rear-end collision. Surprisingly, most cases of whiplash occur in low impact crashes. Whiplash can lead to long-term dizziness, headaches, and difficulty sleeping. Some of these conditions may be improved with physical therapy.

After a car accident, back pain may be a sign of strains or sprains in the spine, herniated discs, or even fractured vertebrae. Many of these injuries can cause serious, even permanent, impairment, yet go undetected for days or weeks after the accident. Seeking medical attention early on can limit the long-term damage.

Settling a car accident claim over lingering pain

Insurance adjusters strive to close files as quickly as possible, limiting the amount their companies pay on claims. If you have been injured and the crash was someone else’s fault, you can bet that the other driver’s insurance company will call quickly and offer you a low amount to settle quickly. Unfortunately, insurance settlements include releases of liability – you cannot go back to ask for more money later if the injury turns out to be more serious.

Before even thinking of entering a settlement, see a doctor and speak with a personal injury attorney. Your attorney will advocate for you to see that any settlement accounts for the costs of treatment and any suffering that your doctors reasonably anticipate in the future.

Speak with a NY car accident attorney

The first days after an accident can impact the coming years of your life. If you have been injured, promptly seek medical care and discuss your situation with a car accident lawyer at Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb & Green. From our Manhattan office, we passionately advocate on behalf of injured clients throughout New York City, including the Bronx, Brooklyn, all 5 boroughs, and Westchester and Long Island. Call today to set up a free, confidential consultation.

How Long Do You Have to Report a Slip and Fall?

Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb & Green, P.C. Slip And Fall Injuries

When a slip and fall leads to serious injuries, it may be necessary to file a lawsuit to recover full compensation. However, your ability to take legal action requires meeting strict time lines – missing a deadline can completely prevent you from seeking compensation.

For filing a civil lawsuit, the state statute of limitations applies. However, this statute does not apply to filing municipal claims rather than lawsuits. The statute of limitations can also be modified in certain circumstances. It is important to speak with a qualified attorney as soon as possible to understand what deadlines apply to your case.

New York statute of limitations for slip and fall cases
In general, an injured party has three years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit. This time may seem generous but filing earlier is advantageous because there are more options to preserve evidence. For example, if you pursue a claim soon, witnesses’ memories are fresher, conditions causing the defective condition may still be present and documentable, and camera footage may still be available.

If you have ongoing medical concerns related to the fall, it may seem to make sense to hold off on filing a lawsuit until you know your final damages. However, it is more important to establish your right to recover by filing a lawsuit first. An experienced slip and fall lawyer can help you calculate damages and work with your doctors to estimate future anticipated medical expenses.

Even if your claim is going to be paid by the other party’s insurance company, it is important to not let the statute of limitations run out. It is your leverage to make sure the insurance company pays. If you are negotiating with an insurance company, speak with a lawyer about ways to protect your right to sue if necessary.

In some cases, the statute of limitations can be extended or “tolled.” If the plaintiff is a minor or is mentally incompetent, or if the defendant is undergoing a bankruptcy, the time to file the lawsuit may be put on hold. It is never safe to guess about this; instead, discuss you case with legal counsel who understands the intricacies of this area.

Limited time to report a NYC slip and fall claim
If you suffered an injury on property owned by the City of New York, or any government, school district or public authority, like a school or subway station, there is a special process to follow in order to obtain compensation and it includes a very limited timeline to report the injury. In New York, an injured party only has 90 days to report a slip and fall-related injury. If there is any chance that your injury may involve municipal property or employees, speak with a NYC slip and fall accident lawyer as soon as possible to make sure your claim is filed on time.

If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident, the law firm of Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb & Green has the experience and resources to advocate on your behalf. We serve clients throughout Manhattan, Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, Long Island, Westchester, Rockland and the Hudson Valley. Consultations are always free.

Additional slip and fall resources:
1. NYCourts.gov, Statute of Limitations, https://www.nycourts.gov/courthelp/GoingToCourt/SOLchart.shtml
2. NYCourts.gov, New York State Consolidated Laws: Court of Claims Act, https://www.nycourts.gov/COURTS/nyscourtofclaims/claimsact.shtml
3. NYC.gov, File Claim Against the City, https://www1.nyc.gov/nyc-resources/service/1654/file-claim-against-the-city

NYC Civil Rights Actions Lawyers

Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb & Green, P.C. Civil Rights

police car lights

If you have suffered harm at the hands of overzealous law enforcement authorities, you may have a right to sue those authorities to recover compensation for your personal injuries. If you believe that your civil rights have been violated , your best course of action will be to retain a knowledgeable and experienced civil rights lawyer who has a thorough understanding of the landscape of civil rights lawsuits in NY State.

The attorneys at Manhattan’s Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb & Green, P.C. have represented victims of civil rights abuses throughout New York City. Call us if you believe that your rights have been trampled upon by law enforcement or any other government agency, or if you have experienced discrimination as a result of your ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation. 

Civil rights violations are matters of federal law

Unlike personal injury lawsuits, which are generally matters of state law, civil rights claims are premised primarily on federal law. Section 1863 of the U.S. Reconstruction Civil Rights Act creates a mechanism for individuals who have experienced civil rights abuses to bring a federal action against the party that is responsible for the abuse. If you are considering filing a lawsuit for redress of a civil rights violation, verify that your attorney has the knowledge and skills to prosecute an action in federal court.

Civil rights violations encompass a number of different abusive conducts

A civil rights violation can occur in several ways, including false imprisonment or extended detention by police without probable cause, inmate abuse, unwarranted law enforcement encounters that are based on racial profiling, or police shootings or other police misconduct. Your civil rights lawyer should be able to evaluate the circumstances of your situation to determine whether and to what extent your civil rights have been breached.

Expect aggressive defense from law enforcement

There is a fine line between legitimate law enforcement action and police conduct that crosses a line into a civil rights violation. Body cameras and other surveillance technology will likely record any confrontation with law enforcement, which will use that evidence to argue the validity of their actions under the circumstances. A civil rights attorney needs to be well-versed in proper police procedures to understand the distinction between legitimate and unlawful police conduct.

Your potential damages can include more than just monetary recovery to compensate you for physical injuries

Victims of civil rights violations may be able to claim damages for harm to their finances and reputation, and impairments of the qualities of their lives and mental health. Where perpetrators of those violations have demonstrated a long history of civil rights abuses, an experienced attorney may have a valid argument for punitive damages. Consult with your civil rights lawyer about the damages that you may be entitled to recover.

Call Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb & Green for Civil Rights Representation in New York City

The civil rights lawyers in the Manhattan offices of Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb, and Green will review the facts of your case and give you a professional assessment of the potential for a lawsuit against the party or parties that disregarded the civil rights protections that are provided by the U.S. Constitution and federal law. We represent individuals in Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and Long Island whose civil rights have been violated by law enforcement and other official parties. Please call us today to schedule an appointment with one of our attorneys.   

Additional Resources:

NYC Police Brutality Statistics

Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb & Green, P.C. Civil Rights

police car lights

Thirty years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the use of force by police officers must be “objectively reasonable”, meaning that an officer’s actions must be reviewed from the perspective of a hypothetical “reasonable officer” on the scene. The objective reasonableness of an officer’s actions is a function of the severity of the crime, the immediate threat posed by the suspect, and the suspect’s attempts to resist arrest or evade an arresting officer.

The civil rights attorneys at Manhattan’s Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb & Green, P.C. in New York City note that this standard has helped law enforcement authorities to make better decisions in New York City and elsewhere, but that police brutality incidents have not been eliminated. New York’s Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB) annually receives thousands of reports of police brutality in NYC. You may be eligible to file a lawsuit for police brutality if a law enforcement officer exceeded the limits of objective reasonableness in an encounter with you. 

Police Brutality Statistics: The Basics

The statistics reveal the extent of the problem:

  • In 2017, the CCRB received 4,487 civilian complaints of abuse of authority, excessive use of force, and other police misconduct. That number represented a 5% increase in complaints over 2016.
  • An average of about 20% of the complaints filed with the CCRB were validated, meaning that the individuals who filed those complaints had legitimate reasons for doing so.
  • In 2018, police shot and killed 1,166 individuals across the United States.
  • Minorities and persons of color are more than twice as likely to be shot and killed by a police officer than Caucasians.

A Sampling of NYC Police Brutality Cases

  • In 2015, the City paid $5.9 million to the family of Eric Garber, who died after police placed him in an unlawful chokehold.
  • The City paid $4.5 million to the family of Akai Gurley, who was accidentally shot and killed  by police in 2012.
  • The City paid $2.5 million to Sol Cecilia Reyes in 2014 after police fatally shot her son, Noel Palanco, following a 2012 traffic stop in Queens.

These cases represent the high end of the spectrum of settlements that have been paid out by New York City to resolve legitimate complaints of police brutality.  An experienced civil rights lawyer who has successfully represented other parties in police brutality lawsuits will be able to advise you on the strength of your case and your chance of receiving substantial money damages.

More Than Just Fatal Shootings: Police Brutality Examples

Fatal shootings by police officers are more likely to be reported in the news because of their tragic consequences. Police brutality encompasses far more than just fatal shootings. A civil lawsuit for police brutality can arise from:

  • Physical or verbal abuse;
  • Excessive force that is objectively unreasonable under the circumstances;
  • False arrest, wrongful imprisonment, or detainment for a period longer than is reasonable;
  • Discrimination on account of race, gender, age, or sexual orientation;
  • Sexual harassment;
  • Excessive tasering, or use of a taser where not warranted; and
  • Unlawful searches and seizures.   

A private citizen can feel understandably intimidated by a police officer. The U.S. Constitution, however, provides important protections to reduce any police intimidation. For example, police officers cannot force an individual to speak with them without a lawyer being present. Likewise, an individual does not need to admit a police officer or any other law enforcement authority into his or her house if that officer does not have a proper warrant.

The police have a very difficult job, but they must perform the duties of that job within the limits imposed on them by our free society. If a police officer exceeds those limits  in an objectively unreasonable manner, then that officer and the police department that he or she represents may be liable for monetary damages in a police brutality lawsuit.

Proof of Police Brutality

Many police officers now wear body cameras that capture video evidence of their encounters with civilians. That video recording, however, is just one piece of the puzzle when it comes to gathering evidence of police brutality. Third party eyewitness testimony, medical reports, and other physical evidence from any incident allegedly involving police brutality can enhance or even rebut video evidence. If you believe that you were the victim of police brutality, you should immediately contact an attorney who has experience in investigating incidents involving misconduct on the part of law enforcement. The police misconduct lawyers at our firm work with professional investigators to collect and preserve evidence while it is still fresh.

Call Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb & Green, P.C. for Representation in New York Police Brutality Cases

The lawyers in the Manhattan offices of Friedman, Levy, Goldfarb, and Green represent individuals in Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn, and throughout NYC and Long Island who have suffered harm and injuries as a result of excessive use of force and other egregious misconduct by police officers. Please call us as soon as is possible after you have experienced an incident of police brutality.   

Additional Resources:

  1. www.observer.com: Misconduct Allegations Against New York City’s Cops Are Increasing – But Why Exactly? https://observer.com/2018/04/nypd-police-misconduct-allegations/
  2. www.nypost.com: NYC Has Shelled Out $384M in 5 Years to Settle NYPD Suits. https://nypost.com/2018/09/04/nyc-has-shelled-out-384m-in-5-years-to-settle-nypd-suits/
  3. www.mappingpoliceviolence.org: Mapping Police Violence. https://mappingpoliceviolence.org/