What can I do if a police dog unlawfully attacked me?
In order to allow police officers and their dogs to protect and defend as they are sworn to do, police dogs have immunity from traditional dog bite liability laws. In other words, it is extremely difficult to pursue a dog bite claim against a police dog, his handler, or the police department under normal circumstances.
However, if the canine attack was unjustified and your injuries are severe, an experienced dog bite attorney can provide you with options to file a legitimate claim.
Filing a Claim Against the Police
Once you’ve spoken to your attorney and determined that your injuries were unjustified or sustained as a result of police officers using excessive force, you can begin to set up a case against the police for damages. In order to do this, you’ll need to do the following:
File a claim. Your first step is to submit a claim to the appropriate government entity—either city, county, or state—and give them an opportunity to address the situation.
Wait for a response. The government will have a set amount of time in which to respond to your claim. If they fail to do so, or reject your claim, you can then proceed with filing a lawsuit against the handler and the police department.
Gather evidence. While you wait for the government’s reply, you should be gathering evidence such as medical reports, photos of the injuries, and details of why the K-9 unit was used. This way you can be prepared to file the lawsuit while also ensuring all evidence is secured and as detailed as possible.
Plan a strategy. You and your lawyer will need to strategize a plan of attack. Convincing a judge that the police were unjustified in using such force can be difficult, especially if you have other officers corroborating the handler’s story.
Allow your lawyer to fight for you. It’s your attorney’s job to set the stage and illustrate your attack in order to get the appropriate damages for your injuries. Let him do his job. Make sure that you provide him with all the necessary details and avoid leaving information out of your story as it could have a negative effect on your case. If your claim is justified and the police dog’s handler overstepped his bounds, our team will fight tooth and nail to make sure you get the compensation you deserve, immunity or not.