Taser Injuries and Deaths

Often, personal injury and wrongful death due to police brutality are related directly to the use of Tasers.

"Taser" is an acronym for "Thomas A. Swift's Electric Rifle," a reference to juvenile adventure book character Tom Swift. Yet a Taser is hardly child's play.

A Taser is a weapon that shoots two dart-like electrodes at its victims, then sending electric shocks through wire intended to stun a victim into submission, rendering him helpless and able to be controlled without excessive force.

When the Taser electroshock weapon was introduced into widespread use in the early 1990s, it was touted as a "non-lethal" alternative to firearms, to be used to subdue criminals in situations that did not warrant the use of a deadly weapon.

However, though the manufacturer as well as many law enforcement agencies continue to argue that Tasers have reduced the need for officers to draw firearms and therefore resulted in fewer deaths, many civil rights groups and concerned citizens point to the more than 200 deaths that have resulted from Tasers used by law enforcement officers as evidence that Tasers are taking lives.

Taser Use

One of the contributing factors to these Taser injuries and Taser deaths is the increasing use of Tasers to subdue people who are not a serious threat to law enforcement officers. Instead of being used only in situations in which firearms would be used, Tasers are more and more frequently used to simply subdue criminals in any kind of arrest situation.

Officers may be subject to laws governing excessive force and police brutality because they sometimes risk lives unnecessarily when using Tasers.

Further, the news over the past few years has offered verifiable reports of police officers using tasers on individuals who are handicapped, pregnant, mentally-disabled or non-English-speaking, in addition to those who were simply objecting to an officer's aggression or inability to explain details of an arrest.

The rise of cell phone camera technology and Internet video databases such as YouTube and LiveLeak has given the public more opportunity than ever to capture and display videos of Taser incidents that are often astonishingly graphic.

Injury Case Evaluation Form

Excited Delirium: Legitimate Medical Condition or Poor Excuse?

One of the explanations that Taser manufacturer Taser International as well as many coroners and law enforcement officials give for the elevated number of deaths connected to use of tasers over the past few years is the presence of a medical condition called "excited delirium."

According to some medical experts, this state occurs when an individual gets agitated (as in a high-stress situation of a police chase or arrest) to the point where he or she loses control of body motions and actions.

When shocked with the 50,000 k of electrical power that a Taser delivers, a person in this high state of agitation can have a heart failure that results in death.

However, critics of this view point to the fact that even though coroners will make reference to it in autopsy reports, "excited delirium" is not technically a medical condition that is recognized by the American Medical Association.

Though many individuals do seem to experience an elevated state of excitement during the high-stress situation of an arrest, in fact it would be likely that an individual would have to be significantly overweight as well as suffering from other potential medical conditions for "excited delirium" to be properly identified as the cause of death.

Injury Lawyers

Be warned from the start that Taser injury verdicts and Taser wrongful death verdicts are not easy to win. Law enforcement officials see Tasers as a safe device for applying non-lethal electrical shocks, and it's not easy to convince them otherwise if you or a loved one have suffered injuries as a result of a Taser.

Just like in police brutality cases, it's often difficult to find witnesses to corroborate a story against law enforcement as well. Settlements with the city involved are often the only possibility for compensation. Injury lawyers can help.

Total Injury is sponsored by personal injury attorneys nationwide who can advise you about your case. Simply fill out our free case evaluation form to get connected with a personal injury attorney in your area within minutes.

Copyright © 2011 TotalInjury, LLC. (as licensee). All rights reserved.

Submit ZIP Code
Or, call us anytime. Available 24/7: 855-694-9176

Some bumps and bruises are a natural part of life. But when your pain is caused by reckless behavior, abusive behavior or negligent practices, Total Injury is there.

If you were injured as a result of someone’s negligence or intentional actions against you, you may have the right to compensation for any injury, damage or loss caused by the person at fault. About Us »

Attorneys: We help clients find you! Call 877-349-1307

PAID ATTORNEY ADVERTISEMENT. THIS WEB SITE IS A GROUP ADVERTISEMENT AND THE PARTICIPATING ATTORNEYS ARE INCLUDED BECAUSE THEY PAY AN ADVERTISING FEE. It is not a lawyer referral service or prepaid legal services plan. Total Injury is not a law firm. Your request for contact will be forwarded to the local lawyer who has paid to advertise in the ZIP code you provide. Total Injury does not endorse or recommend any lawyer or law firm who participates in the network nor does it analyze a person's legal situation when determining which participating lawyers receive a person's inquiry. It does not make any representation and has not made any judgment as to the qualifications, expertise or credentials of any participating lawyer. The information contained herein is not legal advice. No representation is made that the quality of the legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers. Any information you submit to Total Injury does not create an attorney-client relationship and may not be protected by attorney-client privilege. Do not use the form to submit confidential, time-sensitive, or privileged information. All photos are of models and do not depict clients. All case evaluations are performed by participating attorneys. An attorney responsible for the content of this Site is Kevin W. Chern, Esq., licensed in Illinois with offices at 25 East Washington, Suite 400, Chicago, Illinois 60602. To see the attorney in your area who is responsible for this advertisement, please click here.

FLORIDA ONLY: Total Injury is considered a lawyer referral service in the state of Florida under the Florida Rules of Professional Conduct. By all other standards, Total Injury is a group advertisement and not a lawyer referral service.

If you live in Mississippi, Missouri, New York or Wyoming, please click here for additional information.