Fighting for Justice When Deliberate Indifference Results in an Injury

Santa Fe civil rights attorney explains deliberate indifference

Once you pass through the prison or jail door, you surrender your liberty and your control over much of your life; you do not, though, surrender your basic human rights or your constitutional rights. If you have been injured by the conduct of a prison official, a Santa Fe civil rights attorney can take steps on your behalf to protect your interests in your possible civil rights claims.

Deliberate indifference cases

One form of prisoner abuse involves acts of deliberate indifference. This issue arises in cases in which a prisoner is denied medical treatment or is otherwise treated inhumanely. To establish deliberate indifference, a Santa Fe civil rights lawyer must prove that the prison guard or other prison official was subjectively aware of the prisoners serious medical condition and chose to do nothing or to delay taking action. Acting or failing to act with deliberate indifference to an inmates safety violates the inmates constitutional right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment, under the Eighth Amendment of the United States Constitution.

Knowledge is a legal element required to establish deliberate indifference. Thus, even if prison officials should have known, or were reckless in failing to know, of the inmates medical condition, this is not enough to establish a constitutional violation. The prisoner must prove that the prison official knew of a substantial risk of harm and disregarded that risk. Knowledge can be established with evidence that the prisoner was, for example:

  • In excessive or prolonged pain;
  • Unable to participate in usual daily activities;
  • Dealing with a condition for which a reasonable person might seek medical attention or reasonable doctor might prescribe treatment;
  • Complaining to prison officials and/or other inmates;

Examples of deliberate indifference include:

  • Intentionally delaying medical care for a known injury or condition (e.g., a broken arm or withdrawal from drugs and/or alcohol).
  • Intentionally failing to follow a doctors orders (e.g., a prison nurse intentionally failing to administer medication as ordered by the doctor)

Other forms of inhumane treatment, e.g., denial of adequate food or water, also may give rise to a deliberate indifference claim.

Contact Santa Fe civil rights attorney, Richard Rick Sandoval

Deliberate indifference is a high standard to prove and a potential bar to your recovery. In order to meet this legal standard and establish a violation of your constitutional rights, you need a smart and experienced Santa Fe civil rights attorney on your side. Call me at 505-795-7790 or 1-866-BEST LAWYER (1-866-237-8529)to schedule a free initial consultation. We have some of the highest qualified experts ready to review your case.

Attorney Rick Sandoval

Sandoval Firm

Rick Sandoval has been practicing law for more than 20 years, and he has recovered millions of dollars in positive settlements and verdicts on behalf of clients. He is affiliated with the following professional organizations:

  • Million Dollar Advocates Forum - Certified as life member
  • Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum - Certified as life member
  • American Association for Justice

To schedule your free consultation, contact us online or call us at (505) 795-7790.

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