Injured by Police in Ontario: Can I get Compensation?June 20, 2022
Can You Sue The Police In Ontario If You Are Injured?
The short answer is yes; you can get compensation if you are injured in a police encounter. The circumstances that lead to injury are varied. Injuries can be physical, psychological, or financial. Damages can include pain and suffering, out-of-pocket expenses, and loss of income.
You can sue police officers in Ontario if you are injured by the police in a car accident or as a bystander during the course of pursuit or apprehension of a suspect or offender. Police officers can also be sued for injuries arising from an assault and battery.
You can sue for injuries arising from a police officer’s excessive use of force. Police officers at times must resort to force to complete an arrest or prevent an escape. The degree of force allowed is restricted by whether the force used was proportionate, necessary, and objectively reasonable.
If an arrest or detention, directly caused by a police officer, was unjustified, a lawsuit for false imprisonment or arrest may be warranted.
A police officer must conduct his or her investigation in a manner that is consistent with what a reasonable police officer would do in the same circumstances. Negligent investigation for example may occur due to incompetence, carelessness, bias, tunnel vision, and insufficient evidence gathering. Malice is not required. Failure to conduct a reasonable investigation can result in being able to sue the police for negligence and allow a person to receive compensation.
What Are Your Options For Suing The Police In Ontario?
You can also sue the police in Ontario for damages arising from malicious prosecution, such as legal expenses in defending a criminal case. The prosecution must have been initiated by the police; the proceedings must have been resolved in your favor; there must be an absence of reasonable and probable cause, and there must be malice.
Punitive damages can be awarded against a police officer. Punitive damages are awarded if there has been conduct by a police officer that is high-handed, malicious, arbitrary, or highly reprehensible that markedly departs from ordinary standards of decent behavior. The intent of punitive damages is to punish and deter. Punitive damages are awarded when compensatory damages are not enough to accomplish the goals of punishment, deterrence, and denunciation.
Breaches of your rights under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms by a police officer can result in a successful lawsuit against the state. The purpose of this type of lawsuit is to compensate, vindicate, and deter. Personal damages compensate for harm to your intangible interests, which include distress, humiliation, embarrassment, and anxiety. Some examples of Charter violations include arbitrary detention or imprisonment, unreasonable search, and seizure, or being racially profiled.
How To Sue The Police In Ontario
As you can see, there are circumstances where a lawsuit arising from injuries sustained in a police encounter is appropriate; however, suing police officers, police forces and the government requires legal expertise, confidence, and a significant investment of financial and time resources. It is important that you speak to an experienced lawyer about any lawsuit you may want to start as a result of injuries arising from a police encounter.
Content updated: Originally published Jun 20, 2020
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