CanI sue my ex-boyfriend for medical bills that resulted for his assaulting me?

My ex-boyfriend punched a hole through my lip. I had to get stitches and now I have an ugly scar for life. His family has money and I want him to pay my medical and plastic surgery bill; I want the scar removed but I have no money for a lawyer or any knowledge at suing anyone. I called the cops so it was reported.

Asked on October 20, 2011 under Personal Injury, Washington

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Assault is not just a crime; it is also a tort, or a civil wrong. That means that you can sue your ex-boyfriend for your damages flowing out of the assult. For example, you can sue for medical expenses; you could potentially sue for pain and suffering, due to what you describe as a permanent scar or disfigurement; if you missed work, you could sue for lost wages. You should consult with an attorney first--many provide a free initial consultation to evaluate a case--and many will take cases on contingency if they think them worthwhile (e.g. the lawyer only gets paid if you get paid). If you can't find a lawyer to take it contingency, you can bring the case yourself; below is a link to a website maintained by your state courts which can provide information and forms for a lawsuit.

Note that if your boyfriend is not a minor (e.g. he's 18 or older), his family is not resonsible for his actions, so it doesn't matter if his family has money--all that matters is what *he* has.

Here's the website, and good luck: http://www.courts.wa.gov/


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