Police are permitted, in certain situations, to use force when arresting a suspect. However, police officers are not permitted to use excessive force. Sometimes officers use tasers when trying to subdue a subject. While tasers are often used by police instead of firearms, taser injuries can sometimes be significant and serious. If a police officer used a taser on you or a loved one and you or a family member suffered injuries, how can you know if police used excessive force? The Law Offices of Oscar Syger are Boca Raton, Florida police brutality lawyers who may be able to assist you if you were hurt during an encounter with Florida police. Our attorneys can review the circumstances of your arrest, evaluate your injuries, and offer you an honest assessment of your case. We only get paid if you win. Contact our firm today to learn more.

Taser Injuries

Tasers can cause serious injuries. Tasers work by delivering an electric current into their victims. When tasers are used on those who are pregnant, the elderly, the mentally ill, and those with heart conditions, the consequences of injury can be far more serious. People have died due to being struck by a taser, despite the common misconception that when police use tasers they do not result in deadly force.

According to a doctor writing for ABC News, tasers can have two settings. One setting can cause a victims’ muscles to misfire, resulting in reduced coordination, which can assist police when they are making an arrest. The second setting delivers pain to victims, which can also subdue a suspect when police are making an arrest. One of the big questions that many people have is whether a taser can hurt your heart. While it might seem that sending an electric current to the skin might impact the human heart, the good news is that the skin and muscles serve to protect the heart. Tasers work because they affect a person’s muscles, which absorb the electrical signals well before they reach a person’s heart. While research indicates that proper use of the taser won’t affect the heart of people with heart conditions, the shock of a police officer using the device could, in theory, trigger a heart attack.

Yet, tasers can cause other types of serious injuries and damage. A taser shock can burn the skin. Individuals can certainly suffer injuries from a taser. However, the biggest risk of all is when the taser is applied to a victim’s head. Individuals who have been shocked by a taser in the head have lost consciousness. In some cases, individuals can suffer seizures and even show signs of brain damage following a taser shock to the head. In other cases, individuals fall to the ground and hit their heads. This can cause a concussion or brain damage. The brain is a very sensitive organ. In other reports, there are some indications that a taser shock can pose a risk to the developing fetus of a pregnant woman. If you think a loved one suffered a head injury as a result of improper taser use, you may have the right to seek damages for your family’s injuries and losses.

Police are generally instructed to avoid using tasers on higher risk individuals—the elderly, the pregnant, and those who are intoxicated, but sometimes police use them anyway. The consequences can be serious injuries to those involved. The Law Offices of Oscar Syger are Boca Raton, Florida police brutality lawyers who may be able to assist you if you or a loved one were hurt by a police officer during an arrest or stop.

Was the Use of the Taser Reasonable or Excessive Force?

If you or a loved one were hurt in a taser injury involving police, the second question is whether police had reason to use the taser in the first place. Police should generally only use a taser when a suspect poses a danger to police or other people. The courts, when evaluating whether an officer should have used the device, will look at the severity of the crime officers believed was being committed, whether the suspect seemed to pose a risk to himself, herself, officers, and the general public, and whether the suspect was physically resisting officers or trying to get away from the scene. Because these criteria are highly subjective and because the courts tend to give police the benefit of the doubt regarding how they handle split-of-the-moment decisions, if you or a loved one were hurt by a taser, you may want to speak to a police brutality lawyer in Boca Raton, Florida like the Law Offices of Oscar Syger today. Our attorneys can review your case and may be able to assist you with your claim.