I'm a cab driver, a drunk passenger hit me. Can I sue him? File a claim against him? What are my rights?

Asked over 1 year ago - Torrance, CA

My father in law who drives a cab was arguing with a drunk driver for not wanting to pay. This was happening outside the cab. I was driving by and heard the passenger cursing him out very bad and cursing our race and my father in law doesn't speak English very well. So, I stopped and walked towards him peacefully and told him to please give him his money. At this point he started cursing at me and pushed me with full force in my chest so i feel to the ground. I got up and then he started punching me causing my lips to bleed. So I hit him back trying to defend myself. Then I backed off, called the cops, and they came and arrested him. What can I do at this point? I've called two lawyers and they told me to file a claim against him by myself? How does that work? What are my rights?!

Attorney answers (8)

  1. Robert Max Klein

    Pro

    Contributor Level 15

    13

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You have a right to file a lawsuit against the passenger for battery. Your damages would be for any medical expenses, pain and suffering and possibly punitive damages. Unless the person who hit you has significant assets, or there is a way to get his homeowner's insurance to pay, it will be hard to find a lawyer to take your case. But just because two said no should not stop you from looking. You are on a good website. Just look for a lawyer in your area and keep calling.

  2. George Costas Andriotis

    Contributor Level 20

    14

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You have a right to be paid back medical bills if you incurred any or for permanent injuries if you sustained any but people in general do not have the financial means to pay judgements personally. It will likely be a waste of your time.

    Call for a free consultation at 727-937-1400 or visit us on the Web at www.serviceandjustice.com.
  3. Alexis Saphire Breyer

    Pro

    Contributor Level 7

    14

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You can file a claim against the drunk driver but it's likely the drunk driver has no money to pay your claim. I would first look into whether or not the drunk driver has any assets unless the principle of the thing is most important to you. Even then though it will take a lot of time and money for filings with the Court and in the end even if you win what I have found is that most drunk drivers under circumstances like these don't have any money to pay a civil judgement. If the drunk had hit you with a vehicle and had insurance then you could go after his insurance but in this case, the drunk would have to pay you out of his own pocket so unless you know he has money to pay it's not worth your time as the other lawyer above me wrote as well. If you wanted to file a claim against him though, your best bet is to go to small claims court. Most small claims courts have forms that you can fill out and they can help you with but again it will cost you to file the documents and then you will have to serve the documents which will cost more money.

    Call The Husband And Wife Law Team for help and answers to all your questions. What lawyers have to say: Any... more
  4. Constantine D. Buzunis

    Contributor Level 17

    12

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Well obviously he was wrong to conduct himself in such a manner, and this could potentially be a 'hate crime', which carries special financial penalties if proven. I think you and your father should discuss this with the police and the City Attorney or District Attorney to see if this situation would meet the requirements. Your father also has a case if the passenger still did not pay and has no valid defense? I wonder if the police caused a blood alcohol/drug test to be done as this would show the level of impairment?
    What the lawyers are talking about is going to small claims court which has a limit between $7,500-$10,000 depending and you and your father resolving any claims there against the passenger quickly and cheaply, which is up to you? I think you should also contact the City Attorney or D.A. and ask that they prosecute the case against the passenger to the full extent of the law, as such discrimination is unacceptable in this Country!
    If I were you, I would keep looking for an attorney to pursue you and your father's case and if you are unsuccessful go the small claims route? Good Luck.

    Legal disclaimer:This message does not constitute legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship.... more
  5. Steven Mark Sweat

    Pro

    Contributor Level 19

    12

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Yes. You could probably sue in a civil claim for money damages for both assault (putting you in apprehension of bodily harm) and battery (actually causing you bodily harm), infliction of emotional distress and a few other things. The question becomes does this individual have any appreciable assets which could pay any judgment you might obtain against him. Intentional wrongdoing is usually not something that is covered by insurance so you would be seeking payment against him personally, which is usually easier said than done.

    Nothing in this communication should be construed as creating an attorney client relationship. This is for... more
  6. Christian K. Lassen II

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    12

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Yes, you can sue. The question is what are your damages, and can this be collected.

    Only 29% Contingency Fee! Phone: 215-510-6755 www.InjuryLawyerPhiladelphia.com
  7. Timothy James Ryan

    Contributor Level 5

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You definitely have a case against the assaulting individual, problem is the big drunk probably doesn’t have any money and would just be a waste of your time.

  8. Richard Andrew Harting

    Pro

    Contributor Level 18

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You can file a civil lawsuit. If charges are pressed and a conviction results you can make a claim for restitution (reimbursement of your out of pocket expenses) in the criminal matter

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