Suffering a severe injury you could not avoid is not something that anyone should have to experience. And if such an unfortunate event were to happen, you should be able to count on those responsible for your injury to compensate you. This is why the field of personal injury law exists – to make sure that victims are made whole again by those who are responsible for their injury. This should apply to anyone who has been hurt by someone else, no matter who the victim may be. Even if the victim was incarcerated when they were injured, they should be fully compensated by those were responsible for what they suffered.
Prisoners get hurt all of the time. Often, these injuries are serious. However, because the people getting hurt are prisoners, the injuries that they suffer are often seen as somehow less important.
The city jail for New York City, Rikers Island, is currently going through a serious epidemic of personal injury lawsuits that shows just how much of a problem inmate injuries have become.
Rikers Island is regarded as one of the worst prisons in the country. With numerous high-profile cases of violence between inmates, as well as between inmates and guards, the jail has gained a reputation as one of the most dangerous, and in dire need of key reforms.
While the violence inside the jail's walls takes most of the headlines, an equally less serious problem has been the number of prisoners hurt in the ten jails on Rikers Island as a result of negligence.
In 2015 alone, the New York Department of Correction faced 2,846 claims for personal injury, a 27% increase over the number filed against the Department in 2014, and a 73% increase over the number filed in 2013. Out of the ten jails producing the most personal injury claims, eight were on Rikers Island.
Some of these personal injury claims have been for serious injuries. Three were even for wrongful death, where an inmate died due to the negligence of others. Each of these three settled out of court for over a million dollars each, with one settling for $2.25 after a veteran died in an overheated cell. In all, personal injury claims coming from its jails have cost the city of New York $13.1 million.
The infamy of Rikers Island has drawn criticism and many calls for reform. However, recently, these calls for reform have started to become calls to close the jail entirely as politicians have begun to wonder if the cost of keeping it open outweigh the costs of closing it.
If you or someone you love, regardless of who they are, have been the victim of an injury caused by someone else, call the law office of Gilman & Bedigian at (800) 529-6162 or contact them online.