Are you the victim of police assault, police brutality or other police misconduct? You may have a claim for damages if you have been injured due to the use of unreasonable force by the police, and you may be able to institute a personal injury claim against the South African Police Services. Police misconduct refers to any illegal actions that can be liable taken by police, including police brutality, assault, excessive force and harassment.
Police misconduct refers to any illegal actions that can be liable taken by police, including police brutality, assault, excessive force and harassment. Examples of Police Assault
Examples of Police Assault:
- Excessive force used by the police
- Injured as a result of a police arrest
- Shot or assaulted by a police officer
- Discriminated against by a police officer because of their race, religion, gender or ethnicity
- Denied your constitutional rights
In every case, your attorney will thoroughly investigate the facts of your case and bring suit against the appropriate police agency or police department
What compensation can I claim when injured as result of police assault?
- Medical expenses you have already incurred and future medical and hospital expenses
- Damages for pain and suffering
- Loss of earnings
- If the breadwinner died as a result of police assault, you can claim loss of support.
Personal injury claims against governmental agencies, such as the South African Police Service, must be filed within certain time frames to meet the statute of limitations. It may also be necessary to give notice of the intended action, which makes it vital to begin the claim process as soon as possible after the assault occurred.
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Tips for dealing with the situation
Quantification of damages
You should gather as much useful information about the case as possible. This includes:
- the name or names of the offending officer(s)
- the names and contact details of any witnesses
- reports from attending medical professionals
- photographs of any visible injuries.
It’s also important to keep any receipts for medical costs and any other payments you make in relation to the incident.
Lodge a complaint
You may lodge a complaint with the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) if you want them to investigate the following:
- deaths in police custody;
- deaths as a result of police actions;
- any complaint relating to the discharge of an official firearm by any police officer;
- rape by a police officer, whether the police officer is on or off duty;
- rape of any person while in police custody;
- any complaint of torture or assault against a police officer in the execution of duties.
You must open a case at your nearest police station and only report to the IPID Office if the police fail to assist you.
Always take photos of injuries sustained from all angles. In all assaults, there is bruising and swelling and it is important to note all injuries.