If you suffered an assault, you may be left with more than nightmares; you may have physical as well as emotional injuries. You may not be able to return to work at the moment, leaving you without an income. Whether or not your perpetrator is charged and convicted of assault, it is unlikely to result in compensating you for your damages. However, you may be eligible to pursue a personal injury claim or lawsuit against them as well as a criminal lawsuit. Should you win the lawsuit, or your personal injury lawyer can negotiate a settlement, the compensation you obtain can make a difference in your recovery from the assault.
What types of damages can be recovered from the perpetrator?
After a detailed and compassionate review of your case, your personal injury lawyer will identify which of your damages are compensable, and assign a cost to each, one that is likely to be upheld in court. Because everyone's circumstances are different, the list of damages varies from case to case.
- Lost income while recovering from injuries
- Medical treatment, including surgery, cosmetic surgery, follow up visits, etc.
- Medical equipment, including cane, crutches, wheelchair, etc.
- Physical therapy
- Emotional therapy
- Occupational therapy
- Pain and suffering or emotional distress, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, etc.
- Salary or hourly wages, bonuses, and other income that cannot be earned while the individual is recovering
- Modifications to the home for accessibility such as wheelchair ramp, lowering of kitchen counters and cabinets, stair lift, etc.
- Crime scene sanitization in the victim's home and/or vehicle
What if my perpetrator does not have money? How do I seek relief?
As the lawyers at Cohen & Cohen can explain, depending on the circumstances of the crime, there may be other avenues for obtaining relief. Your personal injury lawyer may recommend a state-sponsored victims' relief program if it's available. Other parties might be named as defendants in one or more lawsuits that your lawyer may recommend you file when seeking relief for your damages. Here are some examples:
- The property owner of the location where you were assaulted. If it was a retail establishment, perhaps the owners were negligent by not installing adequate lighting in the parking lot, despite an established pattern of previous assaults in that same location.
- The parents of the perpetrator, if the perpetrator was a minor.
- The employer of the victim and perpetrator, if they worked together and management did not respond to the victim's reports of threatening behavior on the part of the perpetrator leading up to the assault. Alternately, if the company was negligent in their hiring practices and did not take proper precautions. For instance, they did not perform a criminal background check on the perpetrator before hiring them, and permitted them to create a hostile work environment.
Contact a Trusted Personal Injury Lawyer
If you suffered a physical or emotional injury as a result of an assault, you may be eligible to seek compensation from those responsible for harming you. Talk to a personal injury lawyer to learn what options you have available to you.