Who is Liable if You are Injured During a Protest in North Carolina?

Charlotte Personal Injury Attorney Matt Arnold answers the question: “What can you sue for in a personal injury case?”


After the killing of George Floyd by police, protests erupted all across the United States. The protests resulted in injuries, store break-ins, damage to businesses, and arrests nationwide.

protestor-Charlotte-Mooresville-Monroe-Criminal-Defense-Lawyer-300x187As reported by WBTV, over 30 people were arrested in Charlotte, North Carolina, during the second night of protests over the killing of George Floyd by a white Minneapolis police officer, who pushed his knee into the black man’s neck for over eight minutes.

During the protests, police used tear gas, rubber bullets, flash-bang grenades, and pepper spray gas in an attempt to disperse crowds protesting over the latest high-profile killing of a black man.

As a result, hundreds of protesters have been injured, and multiple people have died. Who can be held responsible for injuries that occur during a protest in North Carolina? Can you obtain compensation for injuries sustained while protesting?


Injuries During a Protest and Police Brutality or Misconduct

If you suffered a personal injury or psychological or emotional trauma as a result of police brutality or misconduct during a protest, you might be able to sue the officer or police department to recover damages.

However, suing a law enforcement agency – or any other government agency, for that matter – can be complicated because police officers and government employees enjoy “qualified immunity,” which may prevent an injured victim from filing a lawsuit.

When it comes to filing a civil lawsuit against law enforcement for injuries incurred during a protest caused by police brutality, you need to do the following:

  • Talk to a lawyer. Suing officers or departments for police brutality or misconduct requires you to comply with various procedural requirements. You should consult with a personal injury attorney who understands how to hold the police liable for injuries and obtain compensation on your behalf.
  • Preserve and collect evidence. Police misconduct can be hard to prove, especially when there are no witnesses or video evidence. Your attorney will look for all available pieces of evidence to bolster your claim.
  • File a complaint with the appropriate agency. The law requires injured persons to file a complaint with the appropriate police department, city, or state agency before pursuing a civil lawsuit. Consult with a knowledgeable attorney to find out how the complaint process works and help you gather and submit all necessary documentation.


Injured Due to Assault During a Protest

Often, people are assaulted during a protest, even when the protest is peaceful and non-violent. Clearly, bringing a civil lawsuit against the perpetrator would be the most obvious source of compensation for the injured person. However, the perpetrator is not the only party that can be held liable for your assault injury during a protest.

Depending on the facts surrounding your case, you may bring a premises liability claim against the owner of the property where you sustained your assault injuries, as long as you can prove that the owner did not ensure proper safety measures to prevent violent crimes.

If the assault occurred on public property, you might be able to sue the city or municipality for negligent security or inadequate safety measures. Consult with a knowledgeable attorney to determine whether you can obtain compensation for your injuries during a protest in North Carolina. Contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC, to receive a consultation. Call (704) 370-2828 to receive a consultation with our lawyers to explore your legal options or fill out our contact form. Now taking cases throughout North Carolina with offices in Uptown Charlotte, Mooresville and Monroe.







The skilled personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC are dedicated to maximizing the financial recovery and obtaining justice for every personal injury client injured by another party’s negligence. The issues our personal injury clients may be facing include, but are not limited to, slip and fall injuries, wrongful death, product liability, catastrophic injuries, dog bite claims, car and truck accident injuries, motorcycle injuries, traumatic brain injury (TBI), nursing home negligence, spinal cord injury, boating accidents, and defective medical device injury. Our personal injury attorneys understand the devastating impact such an injury can have on a person’s life, and that the effects so often go beyond physical pain and suffering. The personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC are dedicated to helping clients determine the strength of their claims, and to aggressively pursuing the means necessary to achieve the best possible end result for each client’s particular situation.






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