Anything from a pothole to the acts of correctional officers and state officials can cause severe injuries or even death—and when this happens, victims and families must take action against the government that should have protected them. However, these claims are often far more complex than simple injury cases, and it will take time and significant effort to get a government entity to admit liability. If you have suffered injuries due to an unjust law or the acts of a government official, our attorneys can help you bring a claim against the government to get you the justice and compensation you deserve.
You Need Someone with Experience On Your Side in a Claim Against the Government
Very few attorneys have the knowledge and tenacity it takes to go up against powerful state or city governments. These entities are typically represented by teams of commercial insurance lawyers, the Attorney General’s Office, and other parties who have limitless resources to defend their actions in court. Foster Wallace, LLC stays by your side after an injury caused by a civil rights violation or government negligence, allowing the truth to come to light so that you can move forward after an injustice.
Our civil rights and government claims attorneys represent individuals in a variety of cases, including:
- False Arrest or Imprisonment. Individuals can file criminal charges and civil lawsuits against police officers, security guards, store employees, and others who hold them against their will for arbitrary or discriminatory reasons. While security guards and police officers can briefly detain individuals, they must have a legal reason for doing so (such as evidence of shoplifting or another crime). Similarly, a police officer making an arrest must be able to show probable cause, and government officials must have a valid reason for forcing an individual to remain in the country. False imprisonment is a crime in the state of Missouri and violates an individual’s Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable search and seizure. If your arrest, imprisonment, persecution, or detention was a result of racial profiling or discrimination, you may have a claim for wrongful imprisonment.
- Prisoner Litigation. Many men and women in this country are mistreated while held in custody or serving time in state and federal prison. Although prisoners retain many of their civil rights during and after conviction, these rights are often violated by guards, prison employees, or private corporations profiting off of overcrowded prisons. Prisoners are regularly subjected to risk of injury or death at the hands of other inmates, guards, and prison officials who deliberately allow unsafe conditions to continue. We represent prisoners who have suffered cruel and unusual punishment, excessive force, denial of care for serious medical needs, as well as unjust punishment while awaiting trial.
- Governmental Liability for Defects. Serious injuries can occur if a municipality or government entity allowed a dangerous condition to exist on public property. In Missouri, victims have just 90 days to notify the municipality of the injury and intent to file a claim—and governments may choose to simply fix the condition without taking responsibility for their negligence. Our attorneys have experience negotiating with local and state government entities and can investigate the cause of an injury on public property to hold governments as well as their contractors and engineers accountable for their mistakes.
- Civil Rights. The Civil Rights Act of 1871 is a federal law that protects individuals when someone acting under state law commits a violation of the individual’s federally-protected rights. Claims under this statute, also known as Section 1983, holds a municipality liable if the enforcement of a statute, custom, or policymaker’s decision is in violation of the individual’s civil rights. In order to win these claims, an individual is required to prove that he or she was deprived of a federal right and that the person who committed the violation was acting in accordance with state law. If successful, a Section 1983 lawsuit can provide compensation and attorneys’ fees to the wronged individual.
If you believe that you were deprived of your civil rights, you should contact our attorneys as soon as possible to learn how we can help. Each day that passes is another opportunity for vital information to be lost, so call our office today or fill out our online contact form to discuss your potential case.