When a person is victimized by domestic violence, he or she can sue the abuser in civil court. Most domestic violence acts result in criminal liability, but they also bring civil liability in the form of tort law. Because domestic violence causes injury, a victim can file a lawsuit in civil court.
A Criminal Case Doesn’t Prevent a Victim From Going to Civil Court
Many believe that once a person is tried in criminal court, they can’t be tried in a civil case on the same matter. However, that is not the case, as the Goldman v. Simpson case illustrates. While OJ Simpson was acquitted of Ron Goldman’s murder, Goldman’s parents took Simpson to civil court and won a judgment. Just because an abuser has been tried in court, doesn’t keep a victim from filing a civil claim.
Suing Family Members
Traditionally, the courts did not allow relatives to sue one another for tort claims due to concerns over degradation of the family unit. However, today’s courts have shifted away from this reasoning. In places where family members can sue one another, domestic violence victims can hire a Civil Litigation Law Attorney in Chico CA and file claims against their abusers for stalking, threatening, destroying property and assault.
Considerations to Make Before Filing a Lawsuit
In many cases, domestic violence victims have lost their sense of emotional control. Suing an abuser can help a victim regain that control and provide a measure of relief. Victims can potentially get these types of damages:
• Lost wages
• Medical bills
• Punitive damages
Any lawsuit can be stressful, and a suit against a family member can be even more so. Taking an abuser to court may be difficult, but it can provide a sense of closure that allows the victim to move forward.
Consult an Attorney for a Free Legal Review
Although victims’ advocates and prosecutors can help get justice through the criminal courts, there are some circumstances where punishing an abuser isn’t enough. A Civil Litigation Law Attorney in Chico CA with can help a client determine whether they can get monetary damages that may help them establish a life free of abuse.