Settlement Reached in Wrongful Death Lawsuit against North Carolina Police
Charlotte, NC Personal Injury Attorney
According to a news article, the family of a 24-year-old woman shot and killed by a Duncan police officer will receive $700,000 to settle a wrongful death lawsuit. The victim, Rebecca Lynn Oliver, was shot to death at a motel after police responded to a disturbance complaint from a man who indicated that the victim and her boyfriend were behaving suspiciously. According to the lawsuit, the victim entered the unoccupied patrol vehicle and was discovered by the police officer. The suit claims that the victim was unarmed and posed no jeopardy of serious bodily harm or death to the officer, who was outside the car when he fired at her at least four times.
If you are seeking to file a wrongful death suit on behalf of a loved one who passed away because of another’s negligent actions, you should seek the help of an experienced personal injury attorney such as Justin Bice of the law firm of Bice Law, LLC.
According to the lawsuit, the Duncan police officer used excessive force when he shot her, and that the officer had other available methods of handling the situation that would have been less forceful and would not have placed him in any exposure to harm. The suit alleges that the officer was embarrassed and upset that the victim was able to get into the police car. Therefore, the officer reacted by running and yelling at the victim to get out of the car or he would shoot her. The victim was shot several times by the officer.
North Carolina law allows a police officer to use deadly force against another only when it appears reasonably necessary for self-defense or the defense a third person from the imminent use of deadly physical force. Deadly force may also be permissible in order to effect an arrest or prevent someone from escaping who is doing so with the use of a deadly weapon, or to prevent someone from escaping who is trying to do so because of a felony conviction.
Wrongful Death Suits Against Law Enforcement
In order to sue police officers, plaintiffs have to allege that an officer, as a representative of the law, violated their rights under the Civil Rights Act of 1871. Generally, law enforcement officers are permitted to use whatever force is necessary to make an arrest or defend themselves from the threat of bodily injury or death. With these cases, juries have to make a determination whether a law enforcement officer used more force than was reasonably necessary to make an arrest under the circumstances, and an arresting officer is allowed to use more force to effect the arrest of a resisting suspect or if threatened with death or great bodily harm. Additionally, the U.S. Supreme Court has held that a police officer cannot shoot a fleeing suspect unless it is necessary to prevent an escape and he or she has reason to believe that the suspect poses a significant threat of death or serious physical injury to the officer or others.
The attorneys at Bice Law, LLC can help you navigate the complexity of wrongful death actions in both state and federal courts in North and South Carolina. There are certain time limits and procedural rules that must be followed, which may ultimately determine whether your complaint will be heard. Contact us today for a free initial consultation.
Contact the Personal Injury Law Firm of Bice Law
The personal injury firm of Bice Law will examine your case to determine the type and amount of damages that your injury warrants, including payments for medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and any permanent disability. We’ll determine whether an out-of-court settlement or trial is the best strategy to obtain maximum benefits for you or your family. If you have suffered injury or harm because of someone else’s actions, take the first step to protect your legal rights – contact the personal injury firm of Bice Law serving both North and South Carolina. You only have a limited time after your injury to file a claim, so act quickly. Call (855) 500-BICE today or submit an online request to get a free consultation with a personal injury attorney. We serve families across both North Carolina and South Carolina.