Recently, there has been a charged atmosphere between law enforcement and public citizens. The world has seen an increase in the number of protests and activism in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Luckily, if you participate in a rally, protest, or march, you have recourse if you are injured. But, this is only feasible when you can name the person that caused your injuries (defendant).
Your rights to protest
The First Amendment protects your right to assemble and express your views peacefully. However, government officials, such as police officers, are allowed to place certain restrictions to ensure the safety of everyone at a protest.
But, even when protests remain peaceful, there’s always a partial risk of injury to those who attend and to pedestrians. For instance, large crowds pose risks of slips, falls, and trips.
Possible responsible parties in protest injuries
First, you need to keep in mind that the state in which you reside cannot be held liable for injuries sustained during a protest. Fortunately, you have a right to receive compensation for your injuries, whether they’re severe or minor if you can hold the responsible party liable. Below are some of the parties you can hold accountable for protest injuries.
- Other protestors and protest organizers
When another demonstrator causes your injuries, you have a right to sue them for negligence. A personal injury lawyer can help you go over your case to determine what you need.
Since you have to identify the protestor, it’s wise to ask for personal information as soon as the accident occurs. You may never see the protestor again after the march, which can make your pedestrian accident case challenging.
Once your negligence case against your defender succeeds, you can receive money for damages caused. However, this depends on several factors, such as whether they’re “judgment proof,” marginally employed, or have few assets. In these cases, you may never collect your money.
You also have a right to hold the organizers of a protest liable if they did not create a safe space or environment to protest. For example, a person attacks you during a march, and there is no security present to protect you. You can file a premises liability claim against the organizers since they didn’t hire any security.
Similarly, you can file a criminal case against the person that attacked you.
- Police officer
You have a right to hold a police officer liable if they injure you. You’ll have to file a claim with the government institution that employs the police officer to sue in court. Injuries caused by law enforcement can be hectic as the law grants police officers qualified immunity against civil lawsuits.
However, if you can prove the law officer didn’t act in good faith or intentionally violated your protest rights, you have a chance at winning your case.
- Property owners
Although most protests take place on the streets, it’s possible to get injured on private property or a parking garage. In this case, you have a right to sue the property owner for negligence. Some causes of injuries on properties include:
- Slippers floors and uneven steps
- Code violations
- Inappropriately marked hazards
- Broken fixtures
Getting the justice you deserve can be difficult after sustaining an injury during a protest or a march. Furthermore, laws differ from state to state. Therefore, your best bet at exercising your rights is by hiring an experienced attorney to help with your case.
An expert can help you stand for your rights as you focus on recovering from your injuries and getting back on your feet.