Personal Injury Law
Personal Injury Law Questions? Ask Personal Injury Lawyers.
Corrections officers can be found liable for negligence, but only injunctive relief generally can be had. To recover money damages, the officers would need to be found to have acted with "deliberate indifference." This is a high bar. Since they sent you to the ER, it was reasonable for them to believe that the ER treated you sufficiently for you to be returned to the jail. The jailers are not doctors. Because they are working for the government, they have what is called "qualified immunity." This would pertain to their decision to put you in a top bunk. You made the decision to allow yourself to fall asleep. So it is unlikely you would be able to recover any damages in a suit against whoever operates that jail. I know that is probably not what you hoped to hear, and you should be able to get a free consult with a personal injury attorney in your town. I have to be honest about what I think your chances are; please do not hold that against me.
You are correct that if the jailers violated their own procedures for follow-up that could be viewed as deliberate indifference and you could recover against the jail operators. The question then becomes whether you have damages as a result. In other words, because of their failure to timely follow-up, did your condition worsen and did you have to pay money to outside doctors to fix what they could have prevented from happening?