Say someone assaults you, and you did nothing to provoke the incident. You miss time at work and pile up medical bills. Can you get money for this? Find out.
You go out to a bar. You mind your own business. You go out back to have a smoke.
A burly individual who’s completely wasted takes a few wild swings at you. They thought this was “their bar,” and as an outsider, you’re not welcome. They break your jaw.
You press criminal charges. A successful criminal prosecution and conviction is easy because you did nothing to start or provoke the fight.
But, since you work as a customer service associate and can’t speak clearly, you have to miss work. And you had to spend some time in the hospital. Plus, a broken jaw is painful and stops you from doing many of the things you love, including spending time with your family.
The criminal charges were deserved. But you still lost out on a lot of money because of the time you missed from the work.
Criminal charges don’t always cover that. Can you get compensated for your medical bills, lost time at work, and pain and suffering in an assault?
Proving a Civil Case is Much Easier than a Criminal One
In a criminal case, you need proof “beyond a reasonable” doubt that the accused party committed the crime. In a civil case, you only need a “preponderance of the evidence” to win your claim.
In OJ Simpson’s case, the defense was able to put just enough doubt in the minds of the jury to get him acquitted of criminal charges. However, he lost the civil trial, and had to pay millions of dollars in damages.
What If the Person You Want to Sue Doesn’t Have the Money?
Say that burly fellow from before turned out to have basically no assets at all. Likely an extreme alcoholic, he worked part-time as a bouncer, and it was clear most of his money went to buying alcohol and paying off tickets and fines.
And if he goes to jail for his actions, more fines will wipe out what money he does have. So practically speaking, you may not be able to recover money from that person.
However, you may be able to:
- Sue the location where the fight happened, as it may have served too much alcohol to the assailant
- Sue the attacker’s employer if the assault happened during the course and scope of the attacker’s job duties – and the employer had knowledge the employee had a history of violence, for example.
Even if you think you can’t win any money, it’s worth your time to at least check. You shouldn’t have to pay for expenses you didn’t accumulate. Personal injury lawyers in Dallas offer free consultations, and you have nothing to lose by finding out.