Is my nephew financially responsible for damages resulting from his having assaulted me?

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Is my nephew financially responsible for damages resulting from his having assaulted me?

I was attacked by my nephew and in the process my left tibia plateau was fractured. We were living together with a lease and I have sense left cause of the circumstances. I need to be removed from the lease. Also I just went threw surgery to repair my leg with screws and metal. I now have major medical bills and I’m unemployed with no way to be compensated cause of my injury. I did not cause this in no way to myself. Is there any way for him to be held responsible for my bills and lost wages? I would be working if I didn’t have a broken leg. I can’t afford to pay my bills right now and I might be living on the streets as a result of something I did not cause. Is there any direction I can take? I’m very lost right now and feel he should be responsible for my financial well being.

Asked on April 12, 2012 under Personal Injury, New York

Answers:

Richard Southard / Law Office of Richard Southard

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Did you call the police? Was he arrested for assault?  If so, you should speak to the DA about making restitution (payment for your medical expenses) as part of his punishment.  If there was no criminal action, then you can file a civil lawsuit for damages resulting from the assault but in order to find a lawyer willing to take the case, your nephew would  have to have the assets to pay the money that is owed.  Also their maybe liens against any money won because of all the outstanding medical expenses.

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Assault and battery are both civil and criminal.  You can sue your nephew for assault and battery.  These would be separate causes of action (claims) in your lawsuit.

Assault is intentionally placing one in reasonable apprehension of an immediate battery without consent or legal privilege.  Assault does not require any physical contact; only being in apprehension of the immediate battery.  Battery is the physical contact.  Battery is the harmful or offensive touching of the person of another without consent or legal privilege.

Your damages (the amount of compensation you are seeking in your lawsuit for assault and battery) would be your medical bills, pain and suffering and documentation of wage loss.  Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  The medical reports will document the nature and extent of your injury and will be used to determine compensation for pain and suffering, which is an amount in addition to the medical bills.  Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.  In your lawsuit for assault and battery, you can seek punitive damages for the intentional and malicious acts of your nephew.  Punitive damages are a substantial amount to punish the defendant for his wrongful conduct.

The civil case and criminal case are separate.  You can contact the police and file criminal charges against your nephew for assault and battery.


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