When you have a loved one in who is incarcerated, you more than likely worry about their safety. Being in prison comes with the risk of suffering an injury. Sometimes, injuries are the result of fights, due to improper treatment by corrections officers or because of dangerous conditions.
Last September, inmates at several Oklahoma prison facilities received injuries in wide-scale fights. Several inmates needed hospital treatment after the fights for stabbing injuries. One inmate died. Yet when an inmate suffers an injury in jail or prison, can they sue because of their injuries? Can a family get compensation if their loved one dies because of a prison injury?
Prisoners still have rights under the law. Some of the protections they have include the following:
- The right to avoid cruel and unusual punishment
- The right to avoid neglect, negligence or abuse that leads to a serious injury or death
- The right to receive proper medical treatment
Prisoners who sustain serious injuries or die because of corrections workers’ excessive force or brutality may have a case for compensation. Or if prison staff didn’t address a prisoner’s medical needs, mental health needs or medication needs, and that negligence led to a serious injury or death.
Private prisons vs. public facilities
The rules governing if an inmate is eligible for an injury claim vary based upon what type of facility the inmate is in. State and federal corrections workers often have more protections against inmate suits. Suits against private prisons often need to be based on negligence or under battery statutes.
If your loved one suffered a serious injury or death while in prison, you should consult an experienced personal injury attorney. An attorney can advise you if you should pursue seeking compensation for those injuries or wrongful death compensation.