Have you been injured by police? Do you want to sue them? There is an important two-month deadline following your injury that most people don’t know about, and if you miss it, you could lose your whole case.
Most of the time, if someone gets injured by another person in BC, they have two years to sue them for it by filing a lawsuit in court. This is the case if someone slips and falls in an unsafe prison, or gets into a motor vehicle accident. There is even a two-year deadline if someone gets injured by the RCMP. But, for people injured by city police forces, such as the Vancouver Police Department or the Abbotsford Police Department, there is a two-month deadline that almost no one will tell you about, because almost no one knows about it. The police use it to protect themselves from liability and prevent you from suing them when they wrongfully injure you. As long as you know about the deadline, it is very easy to meet.
Within two months of your injury, you need to deliver a letter to city hall, in the city where you were injured, that says when, where, and how you got injured. If you were injured by the Vancouver Police Department, you should say in your letter that you are sending the letter to meet the deadline in the Vancouver Charter, section 294. If you were injured by any other city or municipal police force, you should say that you are sending the letter to meet the deadline in the Local Government Act, section 736.
You should keep proof that you delivered the letter. You could do this by sending the letter by registered mail, and keeping a printout of the tracking information. You could also take a video of yourself delivering the letter. Make sure you keep a copy of your letter as well.
Even after you send the letter to city hall, you will still need to file a lawsuit in court within two years. There have even been some arguments that you might need to file your lawsuit against city police within six months. There are many deadlines involved in suing the police, and a lawyer with experience suing the police can help you to make sure you meet those deadlines.
Grace Snowdon & Terepocki LLP in Abbotsford is one of the few law firms in BC with lawyers who practice criminal defence, and also sue the police and prisons. If you need a lawyer to sue the police or prisons, contact us right away. You won’t want to miss a deadline.