Can i sue for assault and battery?

Asked over 4 years ago - Glendale, CA

well i was at a casino playing poker with a full table. everyone was having a good time. so i get a good hand wich i go all in n win some guys money. i guess he gets mad or what not and blindsides me gets me on ma right eye. i got facial lacerations bruised eye and a fractured cheek bone. the cops got involved and i pressed charges against him. they also took me to da ER and did a CT scan.
So can i sue him for my medical bills and pain and suffering?

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Robert Lee Marshall

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . Sure, you can sue him... but if you win, can he afford to pay?

    Suing someone who doesn't have any money is a waste of time and effort. Personal injury attorneys who take cases on a contingent fee basis, where you don't pay their fees unless they collect, don't want cases where they aren't going to get anything.

    Unless he has money to pay a big judgment, you would have to pay the attorney fees yourself.

    If he is convicted, he will be ordered to pay your medical bills as restitution in the criminal case, but that doesn't include compensation for pain and suffering. If he is sentenced to prison, it will probably take a long time for him to pay your bills at prison wages of 65 cents an hour.

  2. Pamela Koslyn

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . Yes you can sue him, but as my colleague Attorney Marshall pointed out, it may not be worth it financially, especially if the medical expenses are pain and suffering you experienced were relatively minimal, especially compared to your gaming winnings.

    If you wait until the criminal case is done, you may have a better chance civilly, since you'd already have a criminal "beyond a reasonable doubt" finding and would only need a civil "preponderance of the evidence" finding, but don't wait too long, the statute of limitations under CCP 335.1 is 2 years (please see the statute linked below).

    You might try hiring a lawyer to send him a demand letter for the amount of your medical bill, plus something for your pain and suffering, to see if that does the trick.

    Disclaimer: Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on, since each state has different laws, each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship.

  3. Matthew Edward Williamson

    Contributor Level 15

    Answered . One last thing to add to all the prior answers - it's not just pain and suffering, since it's a battery, you can sue for punitive (punishment) damages as well.

    Good luck healing and get well soon. Remember the above is just general information and not specific advice since I don't know all the facts.

    Matthew Williamson

  4. Donald Curtis Kudler

    Contributor Level 15

    Answered . I am licensed in Nevada, but this Answer should apply in California as well.

    Yes, you can sue for the injuries caused by both the assault (the swing) and the battery (the hit.) Your damages include the reasonable medical bills caused by the battery as well as any time lost from work and pain and suffering (including the fear from the swing and hit.)

    Hope this helps.

    /s Donald Kudler

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