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Expert Witnesses Used in Police Shooting Cases

Police shootings could involve innocent bystanders, criminals or those accused of illegal acts, and proving that the injuries sustained were unnecessary could contain complications. Expert witnesses are hired by a lawyer to help with certain pieces of evidence, police procedure and various other interactions the judge or jury is not aware of with law enforcement.

Police acquire a target through research, scanning areas and carefully creating a plan of action. However, when the shooting occurs, it is possible that someone innocent or not guilty of a crime could become injured through the investigation. When these accidents arise, the victim may take the specific officer to court, or the entire agency may deal with the incident through litigation. Depending on the factors of the claim, there could be greater or lesser difficulties in proving the shooting was necessary or legitimate. If the injured person sustained a gunshot wound by accident, he or she could collect damages for medical treatment and other concerns.

Expert witnesses hired for police shootings often must explain the evidence so the courtroom understand certain aspects of the shooting itself. This may detail the situation, why the police officers were
shooting anyone and procedure that is used for these types of circumstances. Some experts may have a background in police methods while others are psychology or psychiatry professionals that are needed to demonstrate behavior patterns with visual graphics. While the expert witness gives testimony in the courtroom, his or her explanations for these matters may paint a clearer picture of what happened and why someone was injured or killed.

Factors of a Shooting

Many shooting incidents involve someone innocent involved whether as the victim of injuries or death or with an incorrectly assumed perpetrator of a criminal act. Numerous instances of a shooting have experts explaining that the police officers had no choice in proceeding with aggressive actions involving a gun. When a possible unlawful citizen is assumed to carry a gun, law enforcement officers engage accordingly and seek to neutralize the target however necessary. There are certain doctors of the mind such as psychologists or even sociologists tasked with defending police behavior and explaining away questionable circumstances. They also testify in court on behalf of law enforcement.

The factors of the case are difficult to refute when law enforcement agencies and psychology experts are backing the incident against the victim. However, experts that are used in police shooting cases may have enough information and expertise to fight against the opposing side and attempt to assist in obtaining the much needed compensation for the injuries or death incurred through these tragic circumstances. The event is reconstructed when possible, and this explains the shooting as well as the factors surrounding the situation when possible. Without the expert witness, these cases are lost before they begin often enough.

The Injuries and Litigation

When someone has been injured by another, it is often possible to take the individual or a company to court and pursue action through civil litigation. Each side usually has a lawyer that fights for the party and seeks to either defend against allegations or pursue compensation or a remedy to the circumstances. When the individual has been harmed through a shooting, this involves the police officer, the agency and the victim. He or she attempts to obtain monetary and healthcare compensation to recovery from the shooting and the surrounding factors. This occurs in a courtroom with a judge and sometimes a jury depending on the case or claim.

When hiring an expert witness, the client is able to further investigate the issue. The expert could have knowledge in police procedure, how shooting injuries occur and why the victim was harmed. If the incident included racial issues, the claim may involve additional sources of compensation such as punitive damages when the judge determines that the officer or law enforcement agency must be punished for the actions taken. The expert explains certain aspects of the case, and he or she works hard to assist the lawyer and client succeed. Some cases include other professionals to explain behavior or psychology of the officer and his or her circumstances.

Expert Witness Testimony in Police Shootings

Once an expert has become involved in a police shooting claim, he or she may investigate the issue and determine certain factors that could be included. His or her testimony is provided to the courtroom to explain why the victim is owed damages and why they are necessary for recovery form the injuries.

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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.

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