If I got hit in jaw at a night club and told the police that I didn’t want to press charges but I really still don’t feel well, can I still pursue a personal injury claim?

After being hit, I fell to the ground and passed out. About a minute later I got up and told cops I didn’t want to press charges. Everyone at a night club saw what happened. Now my head hearts and I don’t feel too good. Not sure what are my options, if any.

Asked on July 20, 2015 under Personal Injury, Illinois


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you can still pursue a personal injury claim--filing a police report or pressing charges, which are criminal justice system actions, are separate from bringing a civil lawsuit.

However, you cannot sue--or rather, you can sue, but will not get any money--simply because your "head hurts." To recover money for a personal injury, you need medical evidence of an injury, such as a diagnosis and test results; you will need a medical expert to testify (which can be very expensive); and the amount of money you could potentially get is related to the amount of out-of-pocket (not paid by insurance) medical bills you have and the provable extent of your injury. So if you have not yet been scene by a doctor and have any diagnosis of an injury, there is no action you can take.

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