Yes, you can collect compensation if an assault left you permanently disfigured. If someone intentionally harms you and leaves lasting scars, that person is responsible for the damage. You can sue for your losses, including disfigurement.
Many people mistakenly think that when someone commits a crime, the victim cannot sue the perpetrator for their losses, but that assumption is incorrect. In your personal injury lawsuit, you can seek compensation for your economic and noneconomic damages from the attack.
Who You Can Sue for Disfigurement from an Assault
The person who assaulted you. In addition to facing criminal charges, the person who assaulted you can be responsible for all of the losses you suffer as a result, including disfigurement. Assault is both a crime and a tort. A tort is a legal term for a situation in which you can sue the person who hurt you through their intentional act (like an assault) or carelessness (like a car accident).
When someone hurts us, on purpose or accidentally, the law gives us a remedy to seek compensation for our losses. We do this through the civil courts in personal injury cases, also call tort cases.
Criminal courts handle the criminal charges of assault, but the criminal court’s purpose is to protect the public at large, not to make the harmed individual whole. To get monetary compensation, you need to file a personal injury case in the civil courts.
Additional liable parties. When we meet with you, we will evaluate whether someone else might also be responsible for the harm you suffered. For example, for an assault that happened at a mall, the shopping mall might be liable if they did not provide adequate security to prevent foreseeable crimes.
Also, if the mall hired a private security company, that firm might have some liability. Let’s say that the security company assigned a guard to patrol the parking lots in a security cart. At the time of your assault in the parking lot, the guard was taking a nap instead of making his rounds.
You might be able to sue the security company for negligence. If the mall knew about this problem before your assault but took no action to correct the situation, the mall can be negligent in this regard as well.
Damages You Can Get for an Assault
You can sue for your economic and noneconomic losses from an assault. Economic damages are things that you can readily measure in terms of dollars, like medical bills and lost wages. Noneconomic damages are things that are hard to directly quantify in dollars, like disfigurement and the amount of pain you experienced.
Economic damages. We will establish the amount of these losses by using your medical bills, employer records, and other documents:
- Medical expenses – which can include things like the ambulance, emergency room, doctors, surgeons, diagnostic testing, lab work, imaging tests like x-rays and CAT scans, hospital, prescription drugs, and physical therapy.
- Lost income – to replace the wages, salary, and other income you lost because of the assault, medical treatments, and recuperation.
- Future medical care – if you will need ongoing medical attention because of the injuries from the assault.
- Long-term care – if the attack leaves you in need of daily assistance and medical care.
- Decreased earning capacity – to account for your future anticipated losses if you are unable to earn as much money after the assault.
- Equipment – to pay for things like wheelchairs, home modifications, and an adapted vehicle.
Noneconomic damages. We will use several factors, including the extent of your physical injuries, to calculate a fair amount for your non-economic losses, which can include such things as:
- Pain and suffering – which encompasses the physical pain, emotional distress, and inconvenience you experienced because of the attack.
- Disfigurement – if you sustained permanent scars from the assault. The amount of these damages will depend on factors like the size, appearance, and visibility of your scars. Lasting disfigurement of the face, throat, and hands fall into the category of highly visible scars.
- PTSD – Many victims of violent crime experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which can make daily life difficult. It can be hard to maintain employment and personal relationships when suffering from PTSD.
- Loss of enjoyment of life – Depending on the facts of your case and your physical and emotional injuries, you might lose some of your enjoyment of life because of the attack.
- Loss of consortium – Your spouse might have a claim for loss of consortium damages if the assault also damaged your relationship.
What is an Assault Under Georgia Law
Simple assault in Georgia is when someone tries to injure you violently or does something that would make a reasonable person afraid of immediate violent injury. Aggravated assault is when a person assaults someone with the intent to rob, murder or rape; uses a deadly weapon or a dangerous object; or there are any other aggravating circumstances. The term “assault” refers to the attempted violence. “Assault and battery” means that the person did harm you.
How to Get Help for Disfigurement from an Assault
Assault cases can be difficult to understand because the deed is both a crime and a tort, but you do not have to sort through all of that. Just give S. Burke Law a call at 404-842-7838, and we will set up a free consultation to explain your right to compensation and answer your questions. There is no charge for the meeting and no obligation.