Can You File a Personal Injury Claim for Assault?

When someone lays their hands on you in a violent manner, typically many will seek the criminal charges of assault and battery. However, while that person will face criminal punishment if you choose to pursue it, many don’t realize that in assault cases, you can also turn them into personal injury cases and seek compensation.

What Can Be Sought in Personal Injury Cases Regarding Assault?

If someone commits assault and battery against you, it is often considered intentional by the courts. This not only makes the criminal defense case difficult for the perpetrator, but it means you can also seek compensation from them in a separate personal injury lawsuit.

If someone intentionally caused harm to you, you can seek monetary compensation for the following:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Compensation for medical bills that were accrued while treating the injuries
  • Emotional distress
  • Punitive damages

Often at the minimum, the culprit responsible for assault will have to pay for your medical bills, but often courts are more sympathetic towards the victims which can result in more compensation. This is why those who were victims of an assault should highly consider taking their lawyer's advice and filing a personal lawsuit on top of waiting for justice to be served by the criminal trial.

When Can You File the Personal Injury Suit Against Your Assaulter?

After you have decided to press criminal charges against the person responsible for your assault, the state will prosecute the case. However, during this time you cannot also file your personal injury case. In this situation, criminal cases trump civil cases in terms of importance. You will have to wait until the criminal case comes to a conclusion before filing your personal injury lawsuit.

Needless to say, the results of the criminal case will have a lasting effect on the impending personal injury lawsuit.  Under the collateral estoppel doctrine, any results of the criminal case can serve as evidence in a personal injury suit. This way, the facts won’t have to be proven a second time and it makes for a much speedier lawsuit.

While it is ultimately up to a judge as to how to apply collateral estoppels, in most cases, if your assaulter was found guilty in a criminal trial, they will be paying in a personal injury lawsuit. However, the number of damages they will have to pay will be much more difficult to predict. Ultimately, it will depend on the extent of the injuries that you suffered. If you have several broken bones, this will earn you more in medical compensation as well as pain and suffering compared to a black eye.

When to Contact a Lawyer

Even if the criminal trial for the person who has assaulted you has just begun, it is never too soon to start thinking about the future. By contacting your lawyer as soon as possible, they can begin gathering all the information that they need to make sure that you get the amount of compensation that is fair for your injuries. Your personal injury attorney can also help keep tabs on the criminal proceedings where a great amount of information will be brought to light. This can be used to strengthen your personal injury case. If any information comes to light that might hurt your personal injury case, your attorney can also work quickly to mitigate it so your case isn’t derailed.

If you were injured in an assault or an accident in the St, Paul area, contact our office today or call us at (651) 451-6411 to see what we can do to help you get the compensation that you deserve for your devastating injuries.

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