Jails are supposed to be safe places where you can serve your sentence and return as a better member of society. Unfortunately, there is corruption in many correctional facilities. And as a result, you may suffer from mental and physical injuries that can impact you for the rest of your life.

Even when you’re hurt in jail, you have the right to assistance. You shouldn’t have to suffer for someone else’s negligence or violent actions. If you or someone you love was injured while incarcerated, our Tucson jail injury attorneys at Zanes Law may be able to help you get compensation for your damages

Rights of Inmates

While in jail, you may lose some of your rights—but you don’t lose them all. The Eighth Amendment ensures the protection of your rights and requires the facility to treat you and all other inmates with human decency. The Eighth Amendment protects inmates from:

  • Excessive fines or bail 
  • Cruel or unusual punishment

In addition, while in jail, you have the right to be safe from assault, to receive quality medical assistance if you need it, and have access to food and water. If a facility violates any of your Eighth Amendment rights or does not treat you with human decency, you may be able to file a claim.

If you are provided these things, but they do not meet basic standards, you may still have grounds for a claim. Your lawyer can further explain the standards correctional facilities have to follow.

What Injuries Are Eligible for a Jail Injury Claim?

There are various ways injuries can occur while you are serving time in jail. The causes of these injuries can range from staff negligence to other inmates’ behavior. Injuries sustained in jail that may qualify include:

  • Slip and falls 
  • Assault from staff or another inmate
  • Insufficient medical care
  • Unsafe confinement conditions 
  • Transportation accidents 
  • Self-injury or suicidal ideation

If you do not see your injury above, your jail injury lawyer in Tucson can help determine if your injury qualifies. The general standard for an eligible injury is something that the jail or its staff can reasonably prevent.

Can an Active Inmate File a Claim?

Yes, they can. But the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA) makes it very difficult for inmates and detainees to file claims. According to Title 42 U.S.C. § 1997e, prisoners cannot file any action until “such administrative remedies as are available are exhausted.” 

The literature of this law is quite complicated, so let’s break this down. “Administrative remedies” refers to the jail’s rules that inmates have to follow to file a complaint about their experience and the correctional facility can make it as difficult as possible.

“Exhausted” in this context means that the inmate must try to solve their issue by following all the administrative rules before filing a lawsuit.“Remedies as are available” means that if a prisoner can show that the rules are too difficult to follow, there may not be a remedy available. If this is the case, the next step is to go forward with legal action and file a lawsuit.

So, it is possible to file a complaint as an active inmate or detainee, but the legal system makes it very hard to do so. This is not unintentional. Congress created the PLRA to decrease the number of complaints from inmates against jails across the United States. 

While the act may decrease the number of complaints, it also subjects inmates to a lengthy process when they may already be suffering in poor conditions for periods at a time because of this legislation.

Statute of Limitations for Filing a Jail Injury Claim

When you get injured in jail, you have a limited amount of time to take action against the facility where you were injured. According to A.R.S. § 12-542, you have two years to file a claim from the day of the injury. 

During this time you can get medical records and other evidence that will strengthen your claim against the correctional institution. However, you do not want to wait too long because after two years, you will not be able to file or seek compensation. A Tucson jail injury attorney can ensure your claim is filed on time.

What Damages Can I Recover for a Jail Injury?

Regardless of the type and severity of the injury, you deserve compensation. When you leave custody, you may be overwhelmed with bills and returning to your normal life. Compensation can help you pay costs and relieve some of the stress you may be feeling. 

Depending on the details of your case, you may be able to recover damages such as:

  • Incarceration-related medical expenses
  • Pain and suffering
  • Property damage that occurred as a result of incarceration 
  • In-home care services

The jail and prison systems are already complicated and often neglect to address complaints, which means they may also try to hide damages you’re entitled to. But don’t worry, we are here to help. We thoroughly investigate every case and find even the most obscure damages you can seek compensation for.

If you are unsure if your case qualifies, we can examine your situation in a free case evaluation. In the process, we’ll review your case to see if you have a valid complaint. If so, we’ll move forward with you and start building your case so that you can file a claim. 

Learn How a Jail Injury Lawyer Can Help You Build Your Case and Get Compensation

No one should have to worry about getting injured in jail when they’re serving their sentence or being detained before trial, but it happens. And when it happens, our Tucson jail injury lawyers are ready to fight for your rights while shining light on injustices in the correctional system.

Zanes Law Injury Lawyers is a passionate team that understands the jail and prison systems. We work to get our clients the maximum settlement that they deserve. If you or a loved one was injured while in jail, call us or fill out the form on our contact us page to start your free case evaluation.               

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