When an Assault Charge is followed by a Personal Injury Claim against You
Whether or not you were convicted of the assault charge, the alleged victim has the right to file a civil action against you for the damages. If your assault case went to trial, your accuser and their attorney may have been waiting to see the outcome before proceeding with a lawsuit. Even if you were found innocent, that does not preclude them from seeking relief from their damages if they have not yet done so. To protect yourself and your family, you can turn to a skilled criminal lawyer for guidance in this matter. If they do not handle civil defense cases, they can recommend another attorney who can provide you with the legal expertise that you need. Taking a proactive stand by reaching out to a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible means that they are optimally positioned to assist you with your criminal as well as civil defense cases.
How long does a personal injury lawsuit take?
Because the process is separate from the criminal charge of assault that you’re also dealing with, it will follow its own timeline. Many times, the civil lawsuit follows on the heels of the criminal trial. One reason for this is that a personal injury lawyer can use the evidence against the accused that came up in the criminal trial, and present it at the civil trial. However, it is not guaranteed that the alleged victim and their lawyer will wait for the conclusion of the criminal trial. Regardless of when it commences, the civil lawsuit will likely not proceed until or unless you and your attorney reject their claim for compensation for the victim’s reported damages. In fact, most personal injury lawsuits are shut down before they even begin because the plaintiff and the defendant settle out of court. One of the reasons it’s so important for you to hire a defense attorney is that they can review the evidence against you and determine the strength of the other side’s case. They can also represent you in negotiations with the other side so that no matter how much compensation they’re seeking, your lawyer can counteroffer with a much lower amount and back that up with legal reasoning and cite precedence.
What kind of damages might my accuser include in their personal injury claim against me?
This will vary from case to case, depending on the nature and severity of their alleged damages. However, some types of damages are more common than others and can be expected to be included in a personal injury claim. Here are several examples:
- Lost earnings for the time period that they’re recovering from their injury.
- Medical treatment costs, surgery costs, medications, healthcare devices such as wheelchair rental, etc.
- Physical therapy costs.
- Pain and suffering.
If you were accused of assault, you may be facing a civil lawsuit in addition to criminal charges. To protect your rights, contact a criminal defense lawyer who may also be able to advise you on civil lawsuits.