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Colorado inmate wins injury suit in excessive force case

The Colorado Department of Corrections has agreed to pay $200,000 to an inmate who suffered a fractured skull and facial injuries after a prison guard used excessive force on him in a 2014 incident.

The incident was captured on video by a security camera. The prison guard purposefully jerked the prisoner's leg chain, propelling him forward onto a concrete floor inside a cell at the Centennial Correctional Facility. The inmate was being transferred from one location to another at the time.

Another prison guard then purposefully helped cover-up the first guard's actions. The second guard filed a report that the inmate had actually provoked the first guard's actions and caused the entire encounter.

Ultimately, the inspector general's office investigated and both guards were fired. The guard who assaulted the inmate was prosecuted and spent 30 days in jail himself. The other guard was given probation for filing a false report.

Inmates -- whether they're still waiting on a trial or already convicted -- still have civil rights and should expect to be free from deliberate abuse and personal attacks from guards. Head injuries, like the kind this inmate suffered, can leave victims with lasting trauma and chronic conditions, including pain, memory problems, behavioral changes and other difficulties. There's also an emotional aspect that has to be considered when someone who is essentially powerless is brutally attacked by a person in power. That can leave the victim suffering from post-traumatic distress disorder (PTSD), anxiety or depression.

Regardless of your circumstances, if you've suffered a serious personal injury through someone's deliberate or negligent acts, you need to find out more about your right to compensation. An attorney can help you explore your options.

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