Public servants are an integral part of an orderly, safe society. Unfortunately, those that do the work are often involved in emotionally charged situations and are dealing with fast-moving emergencies. For this reason, law enforcement officials can sometimes find themselves embroiled in lawsuits stemming from their handling of these incidents. Police and fire insurance can protect against these claims that often arise because of three key factors.
How officers behave during interactions with the public will certainly impact the litigation they will face. Having the proper training and safeguards like body-worn cameras ensures that officers are not exposing themselves to claims by mishandling suspects or evidence. These can also impact settlement amounts or result in dismissals of cases altogether.
May police officers receive qualified immunity for personal liability while acting in their official capacity. However, that may be changing as public attitudes are also shifting, meaning officers’ liability insurance is especially necessary as a layer of protection against personal lawsuits.
For better or worse, public attitudes toward law enforcement are changing and could impact future liability exposures. If juries are less sympathetic to police and suspects emboldened, the liability exposures and legal action against police will continue to rise as a result.
Police officers have the difficult job of balancing the use of force with restraint in situations where they may be dealing with violent criminals. Liability insurance is an effective way to mitigate the consequences and risks associated with legal action against them.