Assault and battery can be one of the most traumatizing and heinous crimes – being attacked and injured in close quarters by a stranger or a friend can change your notions of safety and security, and may introduce trauma. Because of the potential for long-lasting and sometimes irrevocable harm in cases like this, they are treated very seriously by the law, and any professional assault and battery lawyer who engages in them.
In the same vein, you will want to be prepared when facing your legal aid for assault and battery. If you are the victim in an assault and battery case, you may think that, with the evidence on the table and proper legal professionals at your side, nothing could go wrong. But it is always a good idea to question your assault and battery lawyer and use their expertise to help you discover and consider all your options. Similarly, you will want to probe how qualified your prospective defenders are.
How Many Cases Were Similar to Mine?
A good first question to ask is how often an assault and battery lawyer has had to deal with a situation like yours. Whether it is a mugging, a provoked row at work, a case of domestic abuse or one of another few thousand different scenarios, capable and experienced lawyers are always preferable as they can help you get through the experience more smoothly, with as few hiccups as possible.
However, if your situation is unusual or quite unique, then ask about their general experience in assault and battery cases instead, to get a feel for their experience anyways. It is important to know that no two cases are entirely identical – but similarities do often occur.
How Might a Case Go/What’s Likely to Happen?
It is a good idea to prepare yourself mentally for what is to come by getting a more concrete idea of what may happen. Lawyers are not fortune tellers, but their expertise should help them give you an informed answer as to the possible outcomes for your case, and the types of compensation you may possibly receive.
For example, depending on the case, the intent, the severity of the attack and other factors, you may receive nominal damages and punitive damages on top of the compensatory damages usually paid out to cover medical bills and other costs related to the injuries sustained from the event. An experienced assault and battery lawyer may be able to give you the best and worst-case scenarios, and discuss your potential for punitive and nominal damages.
It is also important to discuss billing with your lawyer before you accept their services. Ask about any fees and costs associated with their service, and the case in general, as well as potential reduced costs if your case is mostly being handled by paralegals/legal assistants.
What Percentage of the Practice Is Devoted to Assault and Battery Cases?
Upholding both the law and the interests of their clients is something lawyers get better in with practice, and you may want to know how much time and resources any given practice devotes towards a certain area of expertise. Most practices have several specializations, and the more experienced your lawyer is, the safer you may feel in their hands.
However, you do not need to rely on a lawyer who solely dedicates themselves to assault and battery cases, especially if yours is a case your lawyer may consider to be straightforward.
Who Will I Communicate With?
It is good to know how you will be keeping in touch with your legal professionals after choosing their services – will you be meeting directly with the assault and battery lawyer on a regular basis, or will you mostly be speaking with someone else? Who will do the work on your case? In most law firms, senior attorneys take on cases while younger, more inexperienced associate lawyers and paralegals deal with the paper work, the filing, and sometimes even the negotiating and the court appearances. This is where it is important to ask who will be working on your case, and whether that entitles you to a reduced cost.
If you are working directly with a senior attorney, then you can be sure that your file will get the attention it needs and deserves.
Can I Sue on Behalf of My Child?
Until the age of 18, the only way for a lawsuit to occur on behalf of a child is if their legal guardian or parent files one. It is perfectly fine to sue on behalf of your child – but if the liable party in question is another child, then liability may depend. Children may not be held liable for causing another person injuries, depending on the context of the case, and the age of the child.
While the law varies from state to state, parents are often liable for their children both legally and financially if their child acted with intent, and may be sued for negligence when applicable. However, there is a liability cap in place for parental liability, so if you sue a parent for the actions of their child, there is only so much that can be recovered in damages. It is best to present your case to an experienced assault and battery lawyer to better determine your chance at a lawsuit.
Can I Sue for Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence is not necessarily separate from assault and battery, but is instead a type of assault, typically punished even more harshly than other cases. If you report domestic abuse and seek legal help to build a case around your history with your attacker, then you have much better chances at receiving the compensation you need. Suing in a case of domestic violence is never easy, and requires an immense amount of courage – but it can give you the best chances at a happy end.
While domestic violence is a criminal issue – meaning, a prosecutor would fight on your behalf and on behalf of the city to send your attacker to jail – it can also be a civil issue, meaning you can demand financial compensation from your attacker for months or years of abuse. Even if your attacker has been tried in criminal court to no avail, you can still sue them in civil court.
Like any aspect of the law, assault and battery can be complicated – cases can arise where the limits of the law are tested, and difficult judgment must be made. However, with a good legal advantage at your side, you can save yourself years and even decades of pain by getting your best shot at real justice in the court of law, and a compensation you deserve.