America has a reputation for being a sue-happy country. Ironically, this reputation can put some people off pursuing a lawsuit, whether it is to seek compensation for injuries suffered in a car wreck or injuries suffered at the hands of a police officer. After all, no one wants the label “gold digger.”
However, you may want to consider an important aspect of lawsuits: They bring attention to a variety of issues, and police brutality is certainly an issue that Americans deserve to know more about.
To educate about the issue
There has been a lot on police brutality and police misconduct in the news lately, with police seeming to target blacks, people with disabilities and other minorities, or being overly afraid of them to the point that they shoot in what looks like an unjustified situation.
The authorities investigate police shootings, but if you were to sue, the action provides an opportunity for public education on the issue. The public deserves to know how well–and how badly–their officers do their job.
To improve policing
Lawsuits can also help police departments sit up and take notice. If nothing else, they give cities a financial reason to try to reform their police departments and can lead to, for example, providing more training on how to communicate with deaf people or mandating that police officers wear body cameras. In theory, these cameras help keep officers accountable and provide a glimpse into something that happened, but they need to be on all of the time to truly bring their worth.
To help yourself
Another key reason to bring injustices such as being shot by police to light is to help yourself, regardless of what others may think. If you have been injured by police, you may have missed work. You could have mounting medical bills and PTSD. By at least meeting with a lawyer about your case and exploring your options, you could potentially educate millions of people about important social issues and even aid police officer training so that, hopefully, these injustices do not happen again.