Can i file a civil suit against a person who has assaulted me

Asked about 1 year ago - Statesboro, GA

i am waiting for a court date for an physical assault i received with visible damage.... they basically tell me he will probably just get some anger classes.. this is my father and the first time i had the guts go to the police. do i have any civil recourse ...he has financial means..

Additional information

im an adult,i had not had contact with my father for ten years before this incident. he was abusive growing up. he threatened me punched me in the face. I got past him and left and went to police. my grandmother was in hospice care. I wanted to file a report but the police took him to jail for a few days then bail was set. my grandmother died 4 days later, The police took pictures of my bleeding lip. I am having problems with nightmares . fulton co. said 6 months to a year before came to docket. we had not spoke for 10 years before this , his choice, i was only at his home because he put her there for hospice care . my real father is my stepfather of 35 years. there will never be any family dinners and i find no humor in this or the way he treated my 110 lb mother and I. It is sad c. lassen that you seem to.

Attorney answers (5)

  1. Troy Windel Marsh Jr.

    Contributor Level 14

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    Answered . Maybe. Because of your familial relationship, the answer may depend upon your age or whether you are emancipated. If you are, in fact, a proper party to file suit, you may seek to recover general, special, and punitive damages because assault (actually simple battery or battery in your case) is an intentional tort. Be aware, however, that homeowner's insurance policies generally contain an exclusion for intentional acts, so you need to be careful not to plead your case in a way that results in no insurance coverage, even if the defendant "has financial means." You need to retain a lawyer to help you with that issue.

    Answers to questions on this web site are for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice.... more
  2. Blaine Alexander Norris

    Pro

    Contributor Level 4

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    Answered . Troy Marsh made some good points on the insurance and civil side, which should definitely be kept in mind (that is, about not framing the "intentional" aspect of the claim so much that you wind up "pleading yourself out of coverage." True, because usually insurance does not cover intentional torts. But another perspective is that if it was IN FACT intentional then "call a spade a spade," especially if he has independent financial resources: you do not necessarily have to be overly concerned with losing the possibility of getting insurance money. Just depends on your main goal. Also, while you are considering all of you possible options, I respectfully suggest that you consider getting a Protective Order against him. That is "civil" in nature, but the violation of it can carry criminal and civil ramifications to protect you. I suggest you talk to a family law attorney about that. While the criminal case is going on, I would hope that there are already special conditions of the bond (assuming he bonded out of jail) that state very clearly that he should have no violent or threatening contact with you. The bond conditions might even say that he can have "no contact" with you at all. Check that and make sure you have a certified copy of the bond with you just in case another event arises. If he violates that, he can go back to jail and stay there pending the case. There might be what is called a "victim's advocate" in the prosecutor's office who deals solely with domestic violence victims. They can walk you through these issues. Even if there are bond conditions in place, though, you might want a civil protective order so you can have a little more control over the situation. Consider all angles to regain control over your safety and your life to stop his abuse. I wish you all the best in this difficult situation.

  3. John Arnold Steakley

    Contributor Level 18

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    Answered . You can, if you are 18+ or an emancipated minor.

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  4. Tanya Marie Bachand

    Contributor Level 15

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    Answered . Yes, there is a civil claim, called a tort, for battery. In civil cases an actual physical touching is a "battery" not an "assault" The causing of fear of an imminent touching is an "assault" so you probably have both.

    This is general advice and does not establish an attorney-client relationship.
  5. Heather A Lottmann

    Contributor Level 15

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    Answered . I agree with my colleague that you likely have an assault and battery claim; however, any potential recovery will be based on whether you received medical treatment for your injuries and how bad your injury is. If you did not receive treatment and do not need treatment then unfortunately, it may not be worth pursuing the matter. Granted, there is the potential for punitive damages but it depends on the circumstances, such as did he strike you once or multiple times, how the incident escalated, etc. You should contact a personal injury attorney in your area to discuss your options. The consultations are generally free, so you have nothing to lose. Good luck.

    The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. The information provided... more
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