Personal Injury and Domestic Violence
Personal Injury Lawyer
When you are a victim of domestic violence you must act immediately by seeking restraining orders, and trying to get the person that hurt you arrested, and of course the criminal prosecution of whoever is causing domestic violence to occur. You might not think about the fact that you as domestic violence survivor have the option to file a civil lawsuit against your abuser to recover damages for injuries that you had to suffer and deal with over the years.
Before we dive too far into this, any good personal injury lawyer is going to tell you that a civil lawsuit is not for protection. If you are looking for protection, you need to talk to your personal injury lawyers. A lawyer can direct you to the people that you need to file for protective order.
A civil lawsuit should really wait until you are safe, ideally you would have a restraining order in place against her abuser, and you would not be living in the same home with your abuser. The civil system does have procedures and remedies that are available to you for protection, but they are not typically for immediate threats of violence and domestic violence is considered an immediate threat of violence against somebody.
Before you can pursue a civil lawsuit you might have to get divorced, I guess the upside to this is that if this person has domestically abused you for years or any period of time at all, you most likely don’t want to be married to them, anyway. But the legal issue about filing a civil lawsuit for domestic abuse is that if you are married to your bed abuser the money and property are treated as joint owned which means that either person is entitled to the joint owned property over the other.
So even though you might have a domestic violence incident or even a conviction, it can be very hard for the court that get a jury verdict if there is no way to take the money from one spouse and give it to the next spouse. The easiest way to dissolve this problem is to be divorced, because it breaks that joint ownership issue and one spouse can become the sole owner of everything.
There are many different types of civil claims that you may be able to file against an abuser that has domestically abused you, and you can talk to your personal injury lawyer about these because each type of civil claim has different outcomes. You could file intentional torts of assault and battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and more, it depends entirely on what happened to you during this relationship and what you need out of this claim.
If a lot of your abuse was not physical, then the physical pain and suffering component of the civil assault and battery claim might not work for you however, assault without battery and the intentional infliction of emotional distress are other theories that can fall under assault and battery without involving physical contact, because the emotional pain you undergo will in a domestic abuse situation is extensive. In this case your personal injury lawyer would most likely reach out to a psychiatrist, psychologist, marital counsel or other mental health professional that can help you make the jury understand just everything you went through mentally and emotionally while in this relationship.