If you are in Nevada, then you know that excursions and events can get a little wild sometimes. Police officers and security personnel are supposed to keep everyone safe. However, these authority figures may occasionally exert unnecessary force on others. The law deems that force is excessive when it is more than what the officer needs to control another person.
Sometimes the force these figures use causes injury or even death to their victims. Fortunately, security personnel can be responsible for damages if they use unreasonable force. If you or a loved one have experienced injuries as a result of excessive force, call a Las Vegas excessive force lawyer today.
What is Excessive Force
When events happen, a security guard or officer may need to remove or control a rowdy person. They may often inflict pain to gain the upper hand, and sometimes the situation requires force. Even so, the strength they use must be appropriate for the circumstance. The definition of excessive force if when officers or security personnel use more force than needed to control someone or remove them from the area.
For example, if the rowdy party is not resisting removal, there is no reason for a club bouncer to hurt them. There are many real-life examples of excessive force. Some of these include:
- In 2017, aviation officers dragged a doctor off of a plane in Chicago. The doctor had agreed to give up his seat for another passenger before he realized that there would not be another flight until the following day. After he told the flight crew that he had patients the next day and did not want to leave the plane, the officers dragged him off of the aircraft.
Due to their force, the doctor had a broken nose, two broken teeth, and a concussion. He sued the airline, and two of the officers lost their jobs.
- In another case, a manager and security guard attacked a man in New York City when he tried to settle his tab. According to the reports, a problem arose with the check, and the manager forced him into a security room. Once in the area, they shoved him, hit him, and smashed his head into the ground. The force victim suffered traumatic brain injuries. With the help of personal injury lawyers, he sued the club and settled for an appropriate amount.
Excessive force includes intentional and wrongful actions, such as:
- Pepper spray
- Use of racial slurs
- Death in custody
Regardless of your actions to warrant officer attention, you do not deserve to be the victim of excessive force. Authority figures do not have free reign to treat others as they please. Do not be afraid to take legal action against this unjust treatment.
Types of Excessive Force in Las Vegas
Businesses have an obligation to hire individuals who know the limits of their positions. In many cases, guards and bouncers turn to aggression before attempting diplomacy. Some bouncers and security guards jump from job to job without ever facing real repercussions for violent actions. A resort or nightclub may still employ a bouncer even if they have a documented history of excessive force.
Some forms of excessive force include:
- Unwarranted use of restraints
- Unnecessary chemical agent use
- Verbal abuse
- Assault and battery
- Excessive physical force
In Las Vegas, bouncers often have to control excited patrons in hotel bars and nightclubs. They may use excessive force when trying to remove people from the premises. They may often try to gain control using pepper spray or other on-hand chemicals.
Bouncers should only use chemical agents when they are defending themselves against aggressive attacks. Improper use may result in victims suffering some allergic reactions or other medical problems. When security staff uses chemicals unnecessarily, they risk complications from the victim’s potential underlying health conditions.
As you can imagine, Las Vegas hotels can get out of control—especially during the busy seasons for tourism. Hotel security can use force, just like bouncers. They may need to remove guests from the common hotel areas or stop non-guests from coming into the property.
Sometimes, their overzealous attempts to gain control are too much. They may injure guests by using inappropriate amounts of force or dangerous methods to get their way. It may seem as though there is no way to fight against authority figures, but a Las Vegas excessive force lawyer can help those people learn a lesson.
Las Vegas police can also be over eager to restrain or arrest patrons. An officer may not wait for the unruly person to comply, instead choosing to use force immediately. Often, these actions end up escalating instead of de-escalating the situation.
Verbal abuse is another form of excessive force. Neither officers nor other security personnel have the right to call you names. The use of racial slurs is never warranted, and the law can consider it to be an unnecessary force.
In certain situations, Nevada law enforcement officers have qualified immunity, which protects them from lawsuits. They lose this protection when they use excessive force. The court or jury will determine whether or not the officer crossed the line, given the circumstances.
Proving Excessive Force Claims
Some of the most significant contributing factors to excessive force use include:
- Inadequate screening for new hires
- Lack of training on how to handle or de-escalate situations
- The inaction of employers to hold forceful employees accountable
People in positions of authority should be trained to understand how much force is necessary for any given conflict. They should be able to make arrests or escort patrons appropriately. When they fail to do their jobs, someone must hold them responsible for wrongful conduct.
Under Nevada law, victims of these incidents have the right to receive compensation and hold wrongdoers accountable. You can take the following action steps if you are an excessive force victim:
- Remain silent and do not further provoke the violent party
- Document the incident and find witnesses
- Photograph your injuries
- Contact an attorney as soon as possible
To prove your claim, you want to collect a decent amount of evidence. You should write a narrative account of what happened immediately after the incident. This action will help your lawyer understand the situation while the details are fresh in your mind. Save and store any damaged clothing or property as evidence as well.
For cases that occurred in public places, the businesses may have security footage of the incident. Your Las Vegas excessive force lawyer may try to get a copy of the videotapes. They can also take action to make sure that the other party does not destroy or tamper with this evidence.
There are many action cases you can take against a club security person. If you are unlawfully assaulted by a hotel or club employee, you may be able to hold both the employee and the employer responsible. Your lawyer will help you determine who is accountable for your injuries. Many bouncer and security guard cases include reports of:
- False imprisonment
Contact an Excessive Force Lawyer Today
If you or someone you know was injured in a Las Vegas venue, call the Accident Attorneys of Southern Nevada. We have years of experience in personal injury cases in Vegas, and we will take your case seriously. You may be legally entitled to monetary compensation for your traumatic experience.
Statistics show that personal injury victims who hire a lawyer receive more money than those who do not. Let us match you with a skilled lawyer who will work aggressively and consistently on your behalf. Our law firm can help you recover money lost from:
- Missed work
- Hospital bills
- Physical and emotional damages
When you are the victim of unnecessary brutality, the event can ruin your vacation or life. Even worse, you could end up with painful injuries that take weeks to heal. When this type of tragedy happens, you don’t want the security worker to escape repercussions for their actions. You have the option to fight back.
The Accident Attorneys of Southern Nevada offer a free consultation. We can help you determine the best course of action for your case. Do not wait to pursue legal action, as you may have limited time to seek financial recovery. Even if you are not sure who is at fault, our lawyers can figure out the amount you are entitled to.
We do not get paid unless you do. So, do not let an aggressive bouncer or officer ruin your week. Call our firm at (702) 766-4336 if you have a personal injury case in Las Vegas, Henderson, or Clark County. Gain your peace of mind back with our help and remember, “No win, no fee.”