Updated on: 3/7/2019
There are certain types of personal injury cases – car accidents, dog bites and wrong-site surgery – that are more clear-cut and simpler to resolve than others. However, each individual case is different in the severity of injuries, type of accident, insurance policies of the parties involved, and so on.
Can I Sue a Person for Assaulting Me?
But we were recently faced with a difficult question from someone who called into our office and wanted to pursue a personal injury claim: Can I file a personal injury claim for damages from an assault?
The simple answer is that yes, technically by law you can file a lawsuit against someone if you sustained injuries and suffered loss if the damages are related to the assault. However, this is a complex issue, and filing a lawsuit against an individual may not benefit you in the long run.
A majority of the cases that our attorneys handle at the Davis Law Group are car accident claims. When someone is injured in a car accident that was caused by another person and the injured party is facing health-related costs, the insurance policy of the at-fault driver is likely going to be responsible for those costs, assuming the driver had insurance.
Insurance companies are large corporations with millions, potentially even billions of dollars that are reserved specifically for paying out claims. That way, when a policy holder files a legitimate claim they can be reimbursed for their medical bills, lost wages and future treatment expenses based on the limits of their policy.
Source of Recovery Crucial in Personal Injury Cases
When it comes to accidents that are protected by a particular type of insurance coverage – such as auto accidents and dog bites – the insurance company that is held liable eventually becomes the source of recovery for the victim.
Unlike with insurance companies, most individuals do not have giant reserves of cash set aside in the event that they are held liable for someone else’s injuries. If an assault victim were to file a lawsuit over the alleged assault, then the perpetrator’s personal assets become the source of recovery for the victim.
This creates a bit of a problem in the event that the perpetrator does not have a significant amount of financial assets, because that is the victim’s only potential source of financial recovery. If the assailant does not have enough money to cover the damages being sought in a lawsuit, he or she can simply file for bankruptcy and no longer be on the hook for financial compensation.
So although the law technically permits assault victims to seek damages from the person who caused the injuries in the first place, it would be difficult to recover any significant compensation unless the perpetrator was wealthy enough to cover the damages.
Seattle Personal Injury Attorneys
If you have been injured in any type of incident, it is always best to consult with a personal injury attorney about your legal options. If you describe your case to a personal injury firm and they decline your case, most will usually at least be able to point you in the right direction.