Were you recently injured during an altercation with another person? Do you now face hospital bills, lost wages, and other expenses related to those injuries? While the other party may have been charged with assault, those charges will do little to resolve your financial liabilities. In many cases, victims of assault are best served by filing a personal injury lawsuit against the assailant to recover compensation for injury-related expenses. However, there are some situations in which a lawsuit may not be successful. Here are three questions to ask yourself before you file your lawsuit:
Did you give the assailant consent?
Your lawsuit may not be successful if you gave the assailant permission to assault you. This frequently happens in competitive situations. For example, if the injuries were sustained during a competitive fight or competitive fighting training, a jury may find that you consented to the conflict. Similarly, you may feel that a person crossed a line during a paintball match and shot you at close range, causing injuries. However, a judge or jury may see that you risked your own injuries when you agreed to be in the match.
Consent could also come in certain types of language used just before a fight. If you challenged your assailant to "bring it on" or "come at me," a court may find that you invited the conflict and provided your consent.
Did the assailant have privilege?
Certain individuals have the right to use physical force while doing their job. Police officers are the most obvious example. If you suffered injuries at the hands of a police officer, you should ask yourself whether the officer used the force because you were resisting arrest. Your suit will only be successful if the court finds that the officer exceeded any reasonable level of force.
Was the assailant acting in self-defense or did he or she feel threatened?
Finally, self-defense is a legitimate argument in assault-related personal injury claims. If the defendant felt that you were physically threatening them or someone else, they could argue that their use of force was necessary to prevent further injury. In this instance, it could just be your word against the other party's, and it may be up to a judge or jury to decide which party to believe. Again, you may want to review the events leading up to the conflict to determine whether your side of the story will hold up in court.
If none of these questions apply to your injuries, then you may have a solid case. For more information, talk to a personal injury lawyer like those at Geoffrey S. Gulinson & Associates PC. They can advise you on whether a suit is appropriate and they can help you move forward.Share
18 June 2015
Like many people, I once found learning about law very intimidating. My brother went to law school and I remember glancing through a few of his books and wondering if I was actually reading English due to all of the legal jargon in them! However, when I ended up in a sticky legal situation due to accidentally breaking a small law I didn't know existed, I realized that I needed to learn more about the law, so I could make sure to follow it precisely in the future. My brother helped to break down some complicated legal concepts to me, and I have since been studying up online. I want to post what I have learned and continue to learn about law in the future on my new blog, so my knowledge cannot only help myself, but also help others!