Like Gordie Lachance in Stand By Me, 11-year-old Omari Grant was looking to make some memories he’d never forget by building a tree fort in the woods behind his back yard. Armed with the tools and the desire to make it happen, Grant and friends began gathering materials and cutting down small branches to aid in assembly when a grouchy neighbor decided to end their fun. The neighbor called the local police department to report that the boys were creating a tripping hazard after some branches were left behind.
Authorities arrived on scene, and one of the officers felt it necessary to draw his service weapon while approaching the kids. Police ordered the kids to lie on the ground and spread their legs like a wanted fugitive. Grant and friends said they were scared by officer’s frightening language and the prospect of being shot, so they complied with the officer’s orders.
“I was just thinking, I don’t wanna be shot today…so I just listened to what he said,” Grant told a local TV station.
A terrified Grant ran to his mother after the ordeal, and she decided to take action against the police. She recently filed an excessive force complaint against the Henry County Police Department.
On its face this case seems ridiculous. Police officers have dangerous jobs, but they also need to be able to de-escalate situations calmly, especially when young children are involved. This incident could negatively impact the child’s psychology for the rest of his life. I hope the mother and child are successful in their case against the police department.
Spring is finally here, and although you’ll have to keep an eye out for potholes, it’s almost time to uncover your two-wheel beauty for the season. If you’re like a lot of riders in the Twin Cities, you’ve already had your bike out for a spin, but it’s important to remember that motorcycle riding comes with increased responsibility. A split second decision or a moment of inattentiveness can lead to major injury while on a motorcycle.
Going off that thought, I figured now would be a good time to answer a question that a motorcycle enthusiast posed to me a while back. He said, “Paul, how long do I have after a motorcycle accident to file an injury claim?”
The standard statute of limitations in Minnesota for personal injury cases is six years, meaning a person has six years from the date of the accident to file a claim. Obviously the sooner the better, as your recollection of the events will be clearer and it will be easier to collect information and witness testimony from the involved parties. That said, sometimes a person isn’t aware that they suffered an injury until days, months or even years down the road. This is especially true if a person suffers a head injury like a concussion that causes memory loss or headaches later in life.
There are two exceptions to the statute of limitations law. They are:
- Any personal injury case involving a death has a statute of limitations of only two years; and
- In any case involving dram shop liability, the party has 180 days to serve the over-serving establishment with a violation.
It’s important to remember that filing a personal injury suit and reporting an accident are two different things. In Minnesota you are required by law to report an accident with injury or greater than $1,000 in damage within 10 days or you may be criminally liable. As is so often the case, a personal injury attorney can help make sure you file all the correct documents so you can seek the damages you are entitled to receive.