Deliberate indifference is a legal term for purposeful neglect of prisoners that cause a safety or medical risk. It is a violation of the Eighth Amendment protection against cruel and unusual punishment.

If you have experienced willful neglect while in prison you may have legal grounds for a lawsuit. Read on to know what is deliberate indifference, what would it look like, and what you can do about it.

What is Deliberate Indifference?

According to the Eighth Amendment, prisoners have a Constitutional right to adequate medical treatment.

Deliberate indifference is a legal definition for the purposeful neglect of personal safety in state institutions. It occurs when prison staff have knowledge of a safety concern and takes unreasonably inadequate steps to address the problem. A safety concern can mean a safety risk, a medical problem, past harassment, past assault, or other substantial risk.

For you to have a legal case, there needs to be both knowledge of the safety risk and inadequate response. Both of these factors have to be present to constitute a Constitutional violation.

What is an example of deliberate indifference?

Deliberate indifference cases often involve prisoners and prison staff. There are many examples that would constitute a civil rights violation. For instance, a prison officer denying medical care to an inmate could qualify. Prison guards refusing to provide medical assistance for what is clearly a serious injury could be liable for deliberate indifference.

Additionally, prison officials who willfully withhold medication that a prisoner needs could also be liable for deliberate indifference. Any situation when an inmate expressed risk of serious harm and was aided insufficiently could be a civil rights violation.deliberate indifference

Can you sue for deliberate indifference?

Individuals in prisons and state penitentiaries have rights. Blatantly violating prisoners’ rights leaves institutions open for lawsuits.

If you think you have a case for deliberate indifference you can sue the party at fault. State institutions have an obligation to reasonably protect your safety. These cases usually involve harassment, disregard for a prisoner’s medical care or personal safety, violating their human rights.

How do you prove Deliberate Indifference?

To prove deliberate indifference you’ll need to prove two things: knowledge and indifference. First, you’ll need to provide evidence that the institution knew about the situation. To do so, you’ll need evidence that they were aware of the safety risk.

Next, you’ll need to prove that they responded in a way that was unreasonable given the information. After being given adequate information about a situation, the institution staff must have responded in a way that was clearly inadequate. If you can demonstrate this in court, you may have a strong case.

Contact Us Today

To move forward with legal proceedings, you’ll need representation. Consult a personal injury attorney with experience in deliberate indifference cases.

Need representation? Call us at 800-874-3528 for a free consultation.