Domestic violence comes in many forms, such as battery, assault, and psychological abuse. These acts constitute solid claims for a domestic violence lawsuit. Beyond seeking justice and safety from your situation, it is possible to sue your abuser for your injuries in civil court. Since domestic abuse is a form of injury, a victim of domestic violence could file a domestic violence lawsuit in civil court.
Criminal Proceedings Do Not Bar a Victim from Suing in Civil Court
A common misconception is that once a person has been tried for something in criminal court, he or she cannot be tried in civil court for that same claim. Just because your abuser has been tried in criminal court or you have obtained a restraining order against him or her, does not mean you cannot sue your abuser in civil court.
Things to Consider Before Filing a Domestic Violence Lawsuit
Often, victims of domestic violence have been robbed of their sense of control and of their emotional outlet. Suing your abuser can give you that sense of control and can provide a sense of emotional relief. The types of damages possibly available to domestic violence victims include:
Lawsuits involving domestic abusers can be stressful because of the strain placed on family or friend circles. It is often hard enough for victims to even make a police report or file for a restraining order against their abusers. Taking the abuser to court may be just as difficult. However, once victims realize their position, they are ready to fight back. Taking their abuser to court may serve as closure for victims–a way to leave the past behind them and start fresh.
Suing a Family Member
Traditionally, courts would not allow family members to sue each other for torts. This law was based on concerns about breaking down the family unit. Today, many state courts (including Massachusetts & Rhode Island) have moved away from this, reasoning that if family members have torts claims against each other, the family unit is probably already broken down, and those injured parties should have their day in court. Hence, states that allow family members to sue each other would probably not bar a family member, such as a spouse, from filing a domestic violence lawsuit against another family member for injuries.
Contact An Attorney
If you or a loved one is the victim of Domestic Violence, please contact one of our experienced attorneys for help. We will offer guidance and handle your case with discretion.