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Infolawyer
Infolawyer, Attorney
Category: Personal Injury Law
Satisfied Customers: 1135
Experience:  Licensed attorney helping individuals and businesses.
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I was recently arrested in a traffic stop outstanding

Customer Question

I was recently arrested in a traffic stop for an outstanding misdemeanor warrant (disturbing the peace). At booking, I informed the officer when asked of medical/other issues, that I was a sleepwalker. They chose to assign me to a top bunk anyway and,
as luck would have it at about 3:30 a.m. I fell out head first onto the concrete floor. The man in my cell thought I was dead. At some point I was taken to the ER where I was stapled and sent back. I didn't know WHERE I was, I was confused, I had a TREMENDOUS
headache, they wuldn't notify my emergency contact and I was Not SEEN or Checked on afterward until my mother called and reached someone after 6 days to ask why I had not been seen fr my head injury. The asst warden told her he was not even aware there had
been an incident. Would this be considered as negligent n their part
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Personal Injury Law
Expert:  richanne96 replied 2 years ago.

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.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Oh no. I would never do that. I guess I should have mentioned that printed jail procedures that a medical exam by the jail nurse is to be conducted within 72 hours of booking and that Head injuries are to be followed up with the hospital physician. Thank you so much.
Expert:  richanne96 replied 2 years ago.

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?