How Victims Of Assault Can Seek Damages In A Civil Suit: Three Things To Know

Law Blog

Not all personal injury cases are based on slip and fall injuries or medical malpractice. If you are injured as the result of an assault, you may be able to seek monetary compensation in addition to seeing the person who assaulted you face criminal charges. Here are a few things you should know about filing a civil suit for personal injury as a result of assault.

Understanding Intentional Tort

These types of lawsuits are referred to as intentional tort. This refers to an injury caused by someone's deliberate actions and not an accident or negligence. There are many different types of intentional tort cases, ranging from sexual assault to bar fights. Your intentional tort case will be separate from any criminal charges the person responsible faces, so it's important to know that you may have to go through two separate series of court proceedings. Some victims may have a difficult time with this, so it is important to go into your suit knowing what to expect. Your personal injury lawyer can help walk you through the process and prepare you for any testimony you might have to give.

Different Types Of Compensation

The types of compensation awarded to you may depend on the facts surrounding your case. The defendant may be required to pay nominal damages if you were not seriously injured but you can prove you were the victim of an assault. True to the name, nominal damages may offer a small payout. Compensatory damages may be more significant, and they are designed to compensate you for your hardship. In some cases, a judge may assign punitive damages, These are typically reserved for cases that are particularly malicious and are meant to hand down an additional punishment to the defendant. In cases where the defendant is not convicted of a criminal charge, having punitive damages assigned can help you to feel that some sort of justice has been done. It is important to remember, however, that some defendants may not be able to pay a large settlement. This may be especially true if the defendant is facing jail time for the crime. It may take a long time to receive your compensation, but you may be able to take comfort in simply winning the case, even if you don't receive payment.

Preparing For Your Case

Going through an intentional tort case may be difficult for a victim. You may have to re-tell the details of the assault several times, which can be especially difficult if you were a victim of sexual assault. In the event that you aren't able to settle out of court, you may have to testify in open court, which means you may have to face cross-examination from the defendant's lawyer. You should also be prepared to accept that you might not win your case. Talk to your lawyer about the strength of your case and your chances of winning before you proceed so you can determine if you will be able to handle a loss in court.

Intentional tort cases can help you to feel empowered after an assault. Knowing what to expect can help you to make the decision about whether or not to file a civil suit in your situation.


31 July 2016