Can I Sue for False Imprisonment

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Posted on Thursday, June 29th, 2023 at 3:04 pm    

As an individual living in a society ruled by law, you possess certain rights that protect you from undue harm. One such harm is false imprisonment – violating your personal liberty. If you were falsely imprisoned, you may wonder whether you have any legal recourse. Indeed, it is possible to sue for false imprisonment. In this post, we’ll explain your rights as a victim of false imprisonment, how to file a lawsuit, the legal process involved, and the damages you may recover. Keep reading to learn more and determine whether a lawyer could help you.

Your rights as a false imprisonment victim

False imprisonment occurs when someone intentionally restricts another person’s freedom of movement without their consent and a lawful justification. This action is both an intentional tort (a civil wrong that leads to civil liability) and a crime, meaning victims can seek redress through criminal and civil courts.

In a civil case, the plaintiff seeks monetary compensation from the defendant for the harm the plaintiff suffered. In contrast, in a criminal case, the defendant faces punishment for their behavior, including prison time, fines, community service, and probation. One key difference between civil and criminal cases is the standard of proof required for a verdict in favor of the plaintiff. In a criminal case, the prosecutor must prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. However, the plaintiff in a civil case must show by a preponderance of the evidence that the defendant’s actions were harmful.

If you are a victim of false imprisonment, you can file a lawsuit seeking damages. This is predicated on your right to liberty, personal security, and freedom of movement. In the eyes of the law, nobody, regardless of their position, has the right to infringe upon your personal liberties unjustly.

How to file a false imprisonment lawsuit

Filing a lawsuit for false imprisonment begins with hiring a competent attorney who has successfully handled such cases. They will guide you through the complex process of filing a lawsuit, ensuring you understand your legal options and what each choice entails.

Your attorney will help you draft a complaint, the initial document filed with the court detailing your case’s allegations. This document typically includes the offense description, the parties involved, and the legal basis for demanding compensation for your losses due to false imprisonment.

The process of filing a false imprisonment claim

Once you file your lawsuit, the defendant will receive a copy of the complaint and a summons to appear in court. The defendant will then have an opportunity to respond to your allegations.

Following this, should your case move forward, the discovery process will commence. During discovery, both sides can request information and evidence from each other to build their cases. The discovery process can involve written questions known as interrogatories, requests for documents, and depositions (in-person interviews under oath).

After discovery, if the parties cannot settle the case through negotiation, it proceeds to trial. Your attorney will present evidence before a judge or jury supporting your claim. If successful, the court will award damages to compensate for your harm.

Damages you may be able to recover in a false imprisonment lawsuit

In a false imprisonment case, the primary goal of damages is to compensate a plaintiff for the harm they suffered. The specific amount varies greatly depending on the circumstances of each case. Common damages recovered in false imprisonment lawsuits include compensation for physical harm, psychological distress, damage to reputation, and economic loss, such as lost wages.

Punitive damages, intended to punish the defendant and deter similar conduct, may also be awarded in cases where the defendant’s actions were particularly egregious.

Contact our attorneys to learn how we can protect your rights

If you believe you’ve been a victim of false imprisonment, remember that the law is on your side. However, hiring a seasoned attorney to protect your rights throughout the legal process is crucial to a successful outcome. At Wallace Miller, our intentional tort lawyers for false imprisonment have the experience and resources to build a solid case and advocate for the compensation and justice you deserve. We understand how traumatic false imprisonment can be and how it impacts a person’s well-being. Let us handle the legal details of your case so that you can focus on moving forward with your life. Call our Chicago intentional tort attorneys at (312) 261-6193 or contact us online for a free, confidential consultation.

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