Building a Civil Rights Claim? Avoid These Common Mistakes

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If your civil rights were violated, you may be able to take action in state or federal court. While suing for damages won’t erase the trauma you’ve endured, it could yield the funds needed to put your life back together in the wake of the incident.

In order to recover a payout, though, you’ll have to build a strong claim. You’ll also have to avoid making critical mistakes over the course of the proceedings.  

Let’s take a look at some of the most common mistakes that people tend to make when building civil rights claims:

1. Posting About the Incident on Social Media

It’s perfectly natural to want to seek support from your friends and followers online following an experience as upsetting as a civil rights violation. You may even assume that discussing the incident on social media will only serve to bolster your subsequent claim.

In reality, though, posting about the situation will probably do more harm than good. Since there’s no way to be sure how the opposing party might misinterpret—or misrepresent—what you publish on social media, it’s best to disable your accounts temporarily until your case has been resolved.

If staying offline is not an option, you can reduce the risk of jeopardizing your claim by updating your privacy settings so only approved connections can see what you post. You should also avoid accepting requests from anyone whom you don’t recognize, and you should refrain from posting about your case or the aftermath in any manner. 

2. Overlooking Recoverable Damages

A successful civil rights claim can yield compensation for the various damages that the victim incurred. Examples include medical bills, missed wages, and lost earning capacity. Loss of liberty and pain and suffering are also recoverable.

Naturally, the specific damages to which you’re entitled will depend on the circumstances. The easiest way to determine which losses you should be tracking—and ensure you don’t overlook any of them—is by consulting a civil rights attorney as soon as you realize you might have grounds for a claim.

3. Waiting Too Long to Take Action

While some civil rights violations regard federal laws, the filing deadline of the state in which the case is brought typically applies. In Mississippi, the standard statute of limitations for civil rights suits is three years.

That means most victims have three years from when the cause of action occurred to file a formal lawsuit. Should you attempt to go to court after this deadline has passed, the judge will likely dismiss your case.

Discuss Your Claim with a Civil Rights Attorney in Jackson

If someone in a position of authority violated your civil rights, it’s important to remember that you have options. To explore what they may be, contact Brown Bass & Jeter, PLLC.

After identifying all liable parties, our resourceful team will gather the evidence needed to pursue the compensation you deserve. Call 601-487-8448 or fill out our Contact Form to schedule a free consultation with a civil rights lawyer in Jackson.

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