If Iwas the victim of an assaultand battery and have incurred medical costs, how do I collect?

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If Iwas the victim of an assaultand battery and have incurred medical costs, how do I collect?

The person that committed the crime is from one state and this all happened in another state. People are telling me that it’s unlikely he’ll even make the court date. What are my chances of recovering the $500 in medical costs? Will I need to hire an attorney of my own to get it?

Asked on October 25, 2011 under Personal Injury, Illinois

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Assault and battery are both criminal and civil.  In addition to the criminal charges, you can file a lawsuit in the civil case.  Before filing the lawsuit, you should obtain your medical bills, medical reports, and documentation of any wage loss.  Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.  The medical reports will document the nature and extent of your injury and will be used to determine compensation for pain and suffering, which is an amount in addition to the medical bills.  Since assault and battery are intentional acts, you might want to consider a claim for punitive damages which is a substantial amount to punish the defendant for an intentional, malicious act.

A lawsuit can be filed where the plaintiff resides or where the defendant resides or where the claim arose.  You could file your lawsuit in IL where you live or in the state where the defendant lives or in the state where the incident occurred.  For convenience purposes such as filing documents with the court and court appearances, it would be preferable to file the lawsuit in IL where you reside.  When you file your lawsuit with the court, you will need to have the defendant served with your documents.  You can have a process server in or near the city where the defendant lives, serve the defendant with your summons and complaint (the complaint is the lawsuit attached to the summons).  When you get a court judgment against the defendant, you can get a wage garnishment to enforce the judgment.  It would be advisable to be represented by an attorney.


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