Being attacked is terrifying and violence can leave mental and physical injuries for months or years. While the criminal justice system is involved in finding perpetrators of crimes and the criminal court system has processes for removing violent offenders from society and placing them in jail, many Marathon and South Florida survivors of assault today have mixed experiences with the criminal justice system and many are turning to the civil courts and personal injury claims for relief.
What Is Assault?
According to Florida Statute 784.011, assault is the “intentional, unlawful threat by word or act to do violence to the person of another, coupled with an apparent ability to do so, and doing some act which creates a well-founded fear in such other person that such violence is imminent.”
Assault can include uttering threats, attacking someone, punching, hitting, slapping, and other forms of violence. Today, we know that attacks can leave serious, long-lasting consequences, including trauma, permanent injury, head injury, factures, and more. After violence, it’s not uncommon for survivors to need complex medical treatment and many do lose time at work while they heal.
Why File a Personal Injury Claim?
A personal injury claim helps survivors of violence and assault seek compensation, which can be used to pay for counseling, medical bills, lost income, and other costs. In some cases, these expenses can be surprisingly high. For example, if a person loses a tooth in an assault, he or she will need to visit a dentist quickly and then will need to get a crown (and potentially a bridge) or a prosthetic tooth. For the rest of his or her life, he or she will need to pay for additional dental services, such as getting the bridge and crown occasionally replaced.
There can be many significant short-term and long-term bills for a survivor of assault, including:
- Emergency ambulance bills
- Emergency department visit
- Medical devices, such as crutches or slings
- Replacing lost property, such as cell phones, if they were stolen or damaged in the attack
- Lost opportunities at work if the survivor lost time at work
- Taxis to and from doctors and specialist appointments
- Medical testing and imaging
If the assault resulted in a disfiguring injury, the survivor may need so-called “cosmetic” surgery to heal, and many health insurers will not cover these costs.
Without compensation, a survivor will need to pay their costs out of pocket, and these can easily add up to thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars (or more). Many survivors also want to make a difference by holding those who are responsible accountable, potentially protecting others in the community.
A civil claim can be a way to seek justice. Often, liable parties include people besides the perpetrator. For example, a business owner may know about violent incidents in the neighborhood but may not ensure proper lighting and security in their parking lot–negligence which can lead to assault.
If you have been the victim of a violent attack and would like to know whether you might have a claim, contact Flaxman Law Group at 1-866-352-9626 (1-866-FLAXMAN) for a free consultation with a Marathon injury claims attorney.