When someone attacks you, it’s a criminal act — assault and battery. However, you also have the option of filing a personal injury case against the attacker. Frequently, a personal injury case regarding a personal attack is not connected to the criminal case for the same incident.
Most personal injury cases are civil lawsuits addressing the medical costs, emotional distress, and property damage caused by someone’s neglect or carelessness. Intentional torts, however, allow you to confront your attacker through both the civil and criminal courts. Even if the attacker has been found to be not-guilty in a criminal court, you can still pursue a civil case for the same act.
Through your civil case, you can demand compensation for any losses associated with the injuries. Your lawyer will pursue losses for the medical costs and lost wages (current and future) associated with the attack. In addition, your lawyer will pursue additional compensation for emotional distress. Because acts of assault and battery generally cause more emotional distress than other kind of personal injury, your lawyer may pursue this avenue aggressively.
Establishing compensable losses for emotional distress is a difficult and lengthy process. Because there are no hard numbers (like lost wages) to calculate the compensation, you will generally have to visit a variety of psychologists to assess your emotional state. However, these losses can be equal or greater than the medical and wages losses associated with the case.
If you’ve been attacked, don’t just call the police. Contact your own lawyer to establish cause for a personal injury case against your attacker.