Visitor Question

Injured While Working in Prison…

Submitted By: Anonymous (USA)

While incarcerated, I was working in the sign making department. An independently owned garbage truck backed into the building as I was loading the garbage(part of my job), the hydraulic hose burst covering me with hot fluid. It burned my face and filled my eyes.

They took me to a hospital a day later to have my eyes looked at by a specialist. They found that my right eye sight is 20/70. I’m being told it should come back but can’t be positive. I have another appointment in three weeks.

My face blistered and peeled and I haven’t been allowed to work. The driver of the truck left and didn’t provide a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) and had to be called by the facility to get the medical procedure.

Do I have a case? Do you think I should file a law suit?

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.


Dear Anonymous,

You definitely have a case in my opinion, but because you were an inmate, there are special rules that you need to follow in order to submit it properly.

Because the prison is a state or county facility, you need to submit an administrative claim form to the agency where you are incarcerated within 6 months of the incident. This is called exhausting your administrative remedies.

From there, there will either accept or reject the claim at which point you can proceed with the civil claim (if rejected) within the statute of limitations for your state. You will need to make sure that you receive adequate medical treatment while incarcerated and that you follow up with everything in writing.

Be advised that some state officers have immunity, so more information about the truck, etc. would be needed to advise you further.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: January 2, 2011

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