Liability for Georgia Taser Accidents


April 10, 2011

A Taser is capable of sending an electrical shock of 50,000 volts. It works by firing two barbed nitrogen-propelled darts into skin or clothing, and then the 50,000 volt shock is delivered. The Taser can also be held against someone's body while the trigger is being pulled. The darts do not fire, but the shock is delivered. This is called the "drive stun" mode.

There have been 350 deaths as a result of Tasers since they were developed. They have been viewed as a non-lethal alternative to the use of a gun by many police officers, but this view is changing due to misuse and recent accidents. If you have suffered a serious injury or a loved one has suffered wrongful death as a result of a Taser, you should contact Montlick and Associates to obtain a free case evaluation.

Recently, a wrongful death lawsuit was filed against the DeKalb County Police Department and the officers from the department that tased a man who ended up dying of cardiac arrest. The police officers tased the man six times. The man was ill and very young so tasing him presented a high risk of causing serious injury. The jolt of electricity from the Taser induced a heart attack that killed the man.

When hit with the darts from a Taser, a person can experience pain, vertigo, disorientation and amnesia. The darts can actually cut the skin and these lacerations can sometimes require stitches. A single Taser shot can cause a stroke, heart attack, hearing and vision loss, neurological damage, severe burns and fractures. Taser International has conducted studies in the past on humans that have been tased, and their reports always claim few injuries and no deaths. The defense department and police departments have done their own studies as well that show severe injuries to be at a minimum and decreasing all the time.

However, the maker and proponents of Tasers promulgate these studies. In the beginning, the company was successful in avoiding liability in over 100 lawsuits involving product liability and wrongful death. However, the company lost its first product liability lawsuit in 2008. There have been a growing number of successful lawsuits brought against the Taser manufacturer and those who use them for personal injury, product liability and wrongful death since that time.

Another problem with Tasers is that they are sold to private citizens or security guards and there is no Federal regulation of their use or sale. This means that these weapons can be purchased and used by ordinary people or security guards who have no training in their safe use. At the time that this article was written, Georgia had little regulation regarding the safe use or sale of Tasers. (This article is about the liability for injuries caused by the use of a Taser, and does not explore the legality of owning one or carrying one open or concealed and the restrictions or permissiveness of same.  Make sure if you are considering owning one that you carefully consider the applicable laws on these issues).

In many instances, the person using a Taser uses it multiple times on a person. This excessive use of force from police departments is a common assertion. The Taser is a dangerous and sometimes deadly weapon. If you find yourself a victim of unjustified deadly force by a Taser weapon, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries or the wrongful death of a loved one. We will carefully investigate the circumstance of the incident to determine whether a product liability claim against the manufacturer or personal injury lawsuit against the police officer, security guard or private citizen is appropriate.

Our Atlanta Taser injury lawyers are available to assist clients throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.

Category: Personal Injury

Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.