You need to ask this question to civil attorneys. You've put it with tags that criminal attorneys look at.
Attorney Meenu Walters - 210-294-2515 - email@example.com
Your question is a little confusing. Did you post bail on the criminal charges? Or do you mean "bailing yourself out" of the situation in the colloquial sense?
If you posted bail on the criminal matter and the charges were dismissed and you never missed any court hearings, then you should be able to get your bail money back. However, if you paid a bondsman to post your bail, then the bondsman keeps the fee you paid.
You will need to speak to a civil attorney about suing your wife.
I think you need to see a good attorney right away. The circumstances under which you videotaped your wife trying to stab you with a knife will need to be considered very closely, and whether that video can get into evidence is the first question that comes to my mind. With the video (assuming it's admissible) I can see potential claims under Family Code 271 for unnecessary litigation and/or Family Code 1101(g) &(h) for breaches of fiduciary duty related directly to the provable financial costs of dealing with her lies.
The pain and suffering may be harder to get to -- I'd have to research that. Many torts as between married parties get pulled into the jurisdiction of the Family Court. Good luck.
As stated above -- I have NOT actually stated any legal opinion, because I need to know more before I can start to form one.
Your situation is not unique. Unfortunately, it is easy for any motivated party to falsely allege domestic violence. Thus, yes you got the DV charge dropped (which is good), but you will probably be unable to successfully sue your estranged wife since alleged Victims (even lying ones) usually are immune from lawsuit (unless you can prove she made a false report, and that is very tough). It's due to California's Law based on Public Policy concerns, but it is not fair at all.