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


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:

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.