Prisoner Wrongful Death Attorneys
When a person in custody dies, families are so often unable to find answers and accountability.
Our team has extensive experience litigating damages cases on behalf of families who lost a loved one in prison or jail due to denials of medical or mental health care, failures to protect, or other violations of the law. We understand that people who die while incarcerated do not deserve to have their lives discounted simply because they were in custody when they died.
These cases are legally complex, and frequently require hard-fought discovery into the defendants’ policies and practices as well as discovery into deaths or injuries of other prisoners from related misconduct. We have the skill and experience necessary to expose untimely deaths in prison and jail as the unacceptable and preventable tragedies that they are and to fight to hold those responsible accountable.
Prison and Jail Wrongful Death
Seeking Justice for the Deceased
Prison management facilities are meant to ensure the safety and well-being of inmates, but unfortunately, wrongful deaths in jails and prisons are an all-too-common occurrence. When a loved one dies while in custody due to negligence, excessive force, or misconduct, it is essential to seek justice and hold responsible parties accountable. In such challenging times, prisoner wrongful death attorneys can provide the expertise and support needed to navigate the legal process and fight for compensation and closure for the surviving family members. This article will explore the various aspects of wrongful deaths in prisons, the responsibilities of correctional facilities, and how prisoner wrongful death attorneys can help grieving families seek justice.
Understanding Wrongful Deaths in Prisons
Wrongful deaths in jail or prison are tragedies that occur when inmates die due to negligence, deliberate indifference, or misconduct by correctional staff or fellow inmates. A prison wrongful death case can be attributed to a range of factors, including medical negligence, suicide, violence, and substance abuse. It is crucial to differentiate between wrongful deaths and natural deaths that occur in prisons. While not every death can be prevented, when a death is the result of negligence or intentional harm, it may warrant legal action.
Common Causes of Wrongful Deaths in Prisons
Medical Negligence: Inadequate medical care, or the denial of necessary, appropriate medical treatment by jail medical personnel or prison staff can lead to the worsening of pre-existing medical conditions or the development of new health issues. Medical neglect and the failure to address medical emergencies or provide timely care can have fatal consequences.
Suicide: Mental health issues are prevalent among incarcerated individuals, and prison environments can exacerbate these conditions. Failure to identify and address suicide risks, provide appropriate mental health treatment, or implement preventive measures such as suicide watch can result in tragic outcomes.
Violence: Inadequate security measures to protect inmates or the failure to separate violent or dangerous inmates from others can lead to fatal assaults and injuries. Both correctional staff and other inmates can be responsible for acts of violence that result in death.
Substance Abuse: Some inmates enter prison with substance abuse problems, and drug withdrawal symptoms can be severe. Inadequate support, monitoring, guard misconduct, or treatment during the detoxification process can contribute to fatal outcomes.
The Responsibilities of Correctional Facilities
Correctional facilities, whether operated by the state or federal government, city jails, or private companies, have a constitutional duty to ensure the safety and well-being of inmates. This duty includes providing necessary medical care, mental health services, and protection from harm. The Eighth Amendment of the United States Constitution prohibits cruel and unusual punishment, and the failure to provide adequate care or protect the life of a jail inmate can be considered a violation of their civil rights.
Establishing Liability in Wrongful Death Cases
To hold correctional facilities accountable for wrongful deaths in jail or prison, it is necessary to establish liability. This typically involves proving that prison officials were aware of a significant risk to the inmate’s life and failed to take appropriate action to prevent harm. The process of proving negligence or deliberate indifference can be complex, requiring thorough investigation, evidence collection, and legal expertise.
While federal and state prisons generally enjoy immunity from lawsuits, the Federal Tort Claims Act provides an exception that allows legal action against the liable parties. Private prisons and contracted healthcare providers can also be held accountable for their negligence or misconduct that contributes to a wrongful death.
The Role of Prisoner Wrongful Death Attorneys
Prisoner wrongful death attorneys specialize in handling cases related to deaths in custody. They possess the necessary knowledge and experience to navigate the complex legal landscape surrounding these cases. By working with prisoner wrongful death attorneys, families can benefit from their expertise in gathering evidence after an inmate dies, building a strong case, and advocating for their rights in state or federal court.
Investigating the Death
Prisoner wrongful death attorneys conduct thorough investigations to uncover the truth behind the inmate’s death. They gather relevant documents, review medical records, interview witnesses, and collaborate with experts to establish liability. Their goal is to uncover any negligence, misconduct, or violations of constitutional rights that may have contributed to deceased inmates.
Pursuing Compensation and Justice
One of the primary objectives of prisoner wrongful death attorneys is to secure compensation for the family of the deceased inmate. The compensation from a wrongful death lawsuit and wrongful death claim can cover various damages, including funeral expenses, medical bills, loss of financial support, and emotional suffering. Additionally, pursuing legal action can help prevent similar tragedies in the future by holding correctional facilities accountable for their actions.
Advocating for Reform
Prisoners rights attorneys not only seek justice for individual cases but also strive to bring about systemic change. By exposing instances of negligence, misconduct, or constitutional violations, they can raise awareness about the issues within the correctional system and advocate for reforms that prioritize the safety and well-being of inmates.
Seeking Legal Assistance
Losing a loved one due to a wrongful death in prison or county jail is a devastating experience. If you believe that negligence or misconduct played a role in your loved one’s death, it is crucial to consult with a prisoner wrongful death attorney to understand your legal options. These attorneys can provide compassionate guidance, navigate the legal complexities, and fight for justice on your behalf.
If you have lost a loved one due to a wrongful death in jail or prison, reach out to our experienced team at Kaplan & Grady. We have a deep understanding of the challenges faced by families in these situations and are dedicated to helping you seek justice. Contact us today for a consultation.
Remember, you are not alone in your pursuit of justice. Together, we can hold correctional facilities accountable and strive for a safer and more compassionate prison system.
Recent Representative Cases
Death from Deliberate Indifference to a Genetic Disorder
Representing the family of a 30-year-old man alleging that he was denied treatment for a long-diagnosed genetic disorder that caused liver failure and death, despite defendants’ understanding the lifesaving care that was required for months.