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Inmate Medical Neglect

Deliberate indifference to serious medical needs violates the Constitution.

For convicted prisoners the Eighth Amendment imposes certain duties on prison officials, including to provide humane conditions of confinement, ensure that inmates receive adequate food, clothing,
shelter and medical care.

In Estelle v. Gamble, the U.S. Supreme Court held that a prison official's deliberate indifference to serious medical needs violates the Eighth Amendment. A serious medical need is present, when, for example, the “failure to treat a prisoner's condition could result in further significant injury or the ‘unnecessary and wanton infliction of pain.

The courts, when considering whether there was a serious medical need, consider the following indicators: The existence of an injury that a reasonable doctor or patient would find important and worthy of comment or treatment; the presence of a medical condition that significantly affects an individual's daily activities; or the existence of chronic and substantial pain.

Appropriate mental health care is mandated by the Eighth Amendment. The Eighth Amendment's prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment requires that prisons provide mental health care that meets ‘minimum constitutional requirements.

For pre-trial detainees, a claim that the denial of needed medical care put claimant at substantial risk of suffering serious harm is brought under the Fourteenth Amendment. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has now held “pre-trial detainees do have a right to direct- view safety checks sufficient to determine whether their presentation indicates the need for medical treatment.”

Time is of the essence as there are statutes of limitations applicable to the filing of civil claims against governmental agencies, such as City Police Departments and County Sheriffs' Departments and their employees. If a governmental claim and/or lawsuit is not timely filed, you will forever lose your ability to seek justice in a court of law. It is important that you consult as soon as possible with an attorney who understands this complex area of the law, who can review issues of liability with you, and make recommendations on the best course of action you can follow.

Contact us online with a description of your case. You can also call us at 951-554-8115 to speak with one of our inmate injury attorneys/lawyers in Riverside, San Bernardino, or Orange County. We can help you!  

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Lazarus Law is committed to answering your questions about Police Brutality, Lethal Excessive Force, Non-Lethal Excessive Force, Police Shootings, Police Tasers, Wrongful Arrest, K-9 Units, Prison Guard Misconduct, and Inmate Medical Neglect legal issues in California.

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