In the United States, there are an estimated two million people currently incarcerated at jails and prisons. The reasons are diverse, ranging from drug charges to violent crimes. Because they are being punished for crimes they committed, inmates lose some of their civil rights. But there are some rights that inmates still have, including the right to fair treatment.
But what happens if an inmate is injured while they are incarcerated? Do they have the right to file a personal injury claim if the injury is caused by someone else’s actions?
Can an Inmate File a Personal Injury Claim?
Inmates who are injured during incarceration do have the right to file a personal injury claim if they can prove that their injuries were caused by the negligence of someone else – such as authorities or other inmates.
Injuries Caused by Authorities
Authorities are required to maintain a minimum standard of health and safety inside jails and prisons. If they fail to do so, then they can be held liable for an inmate’s injuries. Some of the most common injuries that occur in jails and prisons include:
- Slip and fall accidents
- Transport vehicle accidents
- Staff misconduct (assault, rape, etc.)
- Deficient medical care
- Unsanitary living conditions
- Dangerous conditions
Injuries Caused by Other Inmates
Inmates can also suffer injuries due to the actions of other inmates. Examples include:
Personal Injury Claims for Inmates
It is their duty for jail and prison officials to make sure that inmates are safe. If they violate that duty, then they can be held liable for inmate injuries. Of course, inmates may find the personal injury claims process a bit more complicated due to their situation. The Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA) has specific rules for inmates pursuing compensation.
Because inmates must follow the guidelines in the PLRA, it is not as simple as filing a lawsuit. Therefore, it is essential for inmates to contact a personal injury attorney to discuss their claim before taking any legal action. At Guldjian Fasel, we are experienced at handling such cases. Call us now.