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Can a person that was injured in jail seek damages in a civil personal injury lawsuit

Goliad, TX |

My fiance was in jail and had an accident where he feel on the floor and laid there for approx. four to five hours before anyone noticed he was hurt. The took him to the hospital and discovered the fall had caused injury to his back. What can he legally do for them being neglagent and not knowing he was hurt when they are supposed to do inmate checks every hour.

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Attorney answers 2


If your fiance has an injury he certainly has a lawsuit. First of all it is possible that his "civil rights" were violated. Secondly, yes there could be negligence. In order to determine if he has a viable lawsuit there are a few things that need to be determined. For a personal injury suit the particular jail has a duty to keep him uninjured. If they did not live up there to duty then they might be negligent. However, it must be proven that they breached that duty and as a result there was an injury. It sounds like you might have something. It is certainly worth looking into.
William G. McCabe


He certainly can seek damages in a civil lawsuit, however, his chance of recovery would depend on certain facts. His most plausible cause of action would be for negligence, however, he would have to establish that the jail breached a duty owed to him, and as a result of that breach he suffered damages. Unless Texas law provides for a higher duty for jails to provide certain care for inmates, then the duty is that of reasonable care. If this happened in the middle of the night then four-five hours may well be reasonable under the circumstances, however, if it happened in the middle of the day it may be different. Their internal policy of hourly checks will likely not be relevant or admissible in establishing any higher duty than that of reasonable care. I would suggest you contact a local personal injury or civil rights attorney to invesitgate this further.

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