Prison/Jail Medical Neglect Lawyer Minneapolis, MN
Too many prisoners are held in conditions that threaten their health, safety and human dignity on a daily basis. Many jails and prisons have outsourced their medical and mental health care responsibilities to private corporations, who are motivated to provide as little care as possible in order to make a profit. Inmates often have significant medical and mental health needs. However, prison health care services are often abysmal, in many cases leading to needless suffering, disability, and death.
The Supreme Court has recognized that the U.S. Constitution requires prison officials to provide necessary medical care to prisoners who are within their care. The Magna Law Firm is committed to achieving justice for inmates whose rights have been violated by prison officials who have ignored their obvious medical needs. We take on all different types of cases involving denials of medical care, from cases involving wrongful death to cases where there is no lasting permanent injury.
When as an inmate you have suffered medical neglect, there are two main claims that you can potentially bring.
It is cruel and unusual punishment under the 8th Amendment for corrections staff to ignore an inmate’s obvious and serious medical need. To win legally with this type of claim, you must show, when you were incarcerated, that you had been diagnosed with a serious medical condition and corrections staff ignored it. If at the time of your incarceration your condition was not diagnosed, then you must show that your symptoms so obviously demonstrated a serious medical need that even a layperson would have recognized your condition as serious.
In addition, to win your 8th Amendment claim for medical neglect, you also must show that corrections staff knew about your serious medical need and did practically nothing whatsoever to address it. In other words, you must show that corrections staff was “deliberately indifferent” to your medical need which they knew about.
Frankly, these are the most challenging medical neglect cases to win as it can be very difficult to prove that corrections staff actually knew about your serious medical condition and did nothing to address the problem.
The second type of medical neglect claim that can be brought is a medical malpractice claim against corrections medical staff that treated or examined you as an inmate. With this type of neglect claim, you must prove that a medical staff member i.e., a doctor or a nurse, did not respond to your medical condition as a reasonable doctor or nurse would have with that doctor or nurse’s level of experience and expertise.
These are also difficult cases to win but the legal bar to prove neglect with this claim is much lower than the deliberate indifference standard.
Preserve Your Claim!
If you feel that you have been the victim of inmate medical neglect, please follow the recommendations below to preserve your claim.
- If you feel that your medical condition is serious and is not being addressed by correctional staff, file grievances until correctional staff begins to address the problem. If they continue to refuse to address your medical concern, file more grievances (daily if need be) and then contact an attorney. The key here is to document all of your medical complaints. The more you document, the easier it is for an attorney to make your case of inmate medical neglect.
- If while in custody, you are experiencing medical neglect and you have a cellmate, make every effort to keep a record of your cell mate’s name and contact information for witness purposes.
- If you are physically able, and are still in custody, explain to a close family member or friend the seriousness of your medical condition and how it is not being addressed by correctional staff over the phone. These conversations are oftentimes recorded and can be used later to provide merit to your medical neglect claim.
- Periodically, request your medical records from all medical providers that you have seen while incarcerated. Also, request your medical records file from the facility where you have been incarcerated. Obtaining the medical records is important so that you can read what the doctors that have examined you are saying about your condition, and what future treatment you may need. Citing the medical record, you are then a position to place added pressure on correctional staff to follow the doctor’s recommendations.
If you are a current or former inmate who feels that your medical needs were ignored by prison officials, please contact our law office at 763-438-3032.