Can you sue for personal injury from a criminal assault?
There are two types of cases that can arise from a criminal assault — a criminal case brought against the perpetrator by a district attorney and a personal injury civil lawsuit brought against the perpetrator by the victim of the assault. The purpose of criminal prosecution is to punish the defendant for committing an illegal act. The purpose of a personal injury civil lawsuit it to get compensation for personal injury resulting from criminal assault.
Simple assault has been defined as any intentional act that causes another person to fear that he or she is going to suffer from sort of physical harm, intentionally or recklessly causing bodily injury to another person, or intentionally physically contacting a person in such a way that is regarded as offensive. This type of assault is usually regarded as a misdemeanor.
Aggravated assault, however, is much more serious and usually involves the use of a dangerous weapon and results in serious bodily injury to the victim such as broken bones, disfigurement, brain damage, loss of limb, or even death. Armed robbery would be an example of aggravated assault.
The criminal case won’t compensate you
Criminal assault causing personal injury is a criminal case, and, as such, is prosecuted in a criminal court of law. A district attorney or other public attorney is in charge of the case against the perpetrator or defendant. The victim and his or her personal injury attorney really have no say in the case, although the victim may be called as a witness to testify for the prosecution.
Aggravated assault cases most often go to trial where the jury renders a verdict against the defendant and a judge issues a jail sentence. While the defendant is penalized for committing the crime, no compensation for your injuries is awarded during the criminal phase of the case. This is left to a civil court of law.
The personal lawsuit could
Suing someone convicted of assault is referred to an as intentional tort personal injury case. Intentional tort cases are not the result of negligence or carelessness on the part of the defendant, but are the result on an intentional act. Personal injuries from the criminal assault were caused by a purposeful act committed by the defendant.
The victim or plaintiff is these types of cases may file a personal injury lawsuit against the perpetrator in order to receive compensation for injuries that are a result of the assault. Damages may include emotional pain and suffering or other mental distress, cost of current and/or future medical care, loss of past and/or future wages.
Los Angeles-based personal injury attorney, Greg Yates, has years of experience representing clients in personal injury lawsuits. He has been instrumental in recovering hundreds of millions of dollars in lawsuit settlements for his clients.
If you’ve been the victim of a criminal assault and want to take legal action to get compensation for injuries that you have sustained as a result, contact our office and set up an appointment for a consultation.