In some cases, you may be able to sue someone who has assaulted you. The law will vary in this regard depending upon where you are. Remember that there is no difference in whether or not you can sue based upon whether or not your assailant is facing criminal charges. If they are, however, and they are convicted, it obviously could increase the chances that you’d win your claim.
How To Get Started
The first thing you’ll need to do is talk to a lawyer and get their opinion as to whether or not you have valid cause to sue. Some of the things that may play into this include:
- Whether or not it was a fight or an assault, meaning whether or not you willingly engaged in combat
- Whether or not the assault was part of a crime, which may strengthen your case
- Whether or not the assailant had an obvious physical advantage: size, strength, martial arts training, etc.
Your attorney will go through this with you. If they feel that you do have a good reason to sue, and a strong likelihood of winning, they might want you as a client. Here are some things you should do if they want to represent you.
Talk to Witnesses
If you have information on anyone who witnessed the assault, tell your attorney. The attorney will want to talk to them personally, in most cases, but you may be able to persuade them to help you by coming forward. This can make a lot of difference.
If there is an assault and the police were involved, there will be a report. This will be powerful evidence, but there may be other evidence, as well, and not from the police. Ask people who were there whether they took pictures or video. Doing so is a pretty common reflex among everyday people today and it can help to get justice for victims.
Understand if You Cannot
In order to sue, you have to know what you’re going to sue for. If the perpetrator doesn’t have any money or property, suing may not be an option. Your attorney will go over this with you, as well, as they’re not going to want to represent a losing or pointless lawsuit. If the person does have some means of making you whole after assaulting you, it might be worth it to press a lawsuit against them to cover your expenses that resulted from their actions.