Taking Legal Action After Being Physically Assaulted

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What to Do After You Have Been Assaulted

Each year, roughly 2 million people in the United States incur injuries as the result of a physical assault. Victims can incur cuts, broken bones, and head injuries as the result of their experiences. If you are the victim of an unprovoked attack, you may be entitled to a financial award.

What Constitutes Assault?

Many people don’t know that you don’t actually have to be touched to be assaulted. If someone creates a credible threat to your safety, they could be guilty of assault. Assault can also be unwanted physical contact; just because you don’t have a black eye or lasting bruises doesn’t mean that you weren’t assaulted. If you think that you may have been assaulted, a personal injury lawyer could provide you with advice about what your next steps are.

Seek Treatment Quickly

The first thing that you want to do after being hurt is to seek treatment for your injuries. Doing so can help to minimize the long-term damage that can occur if a bone is allowed to heal on its own or if a head injury goes undiagnosed. It’s also worth noting that you could experience internal damage that might go unnoticed for several days or weeks. At that point, the only way to fix it will be through surgery or other drastic means. In addition to minimizing the long-term impact of your injuries, seeking treatment generates medical records that can be used to hold your attacker accountable for his or her actions.

Did You Do Anything to Provoke the Attack?

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As a general rule, a person owes a duty of care to both themselves and to others. Therefore, it’s unlikely that you are the victim of a crime if you provoked your attacker. For example, if you threaten to hurt someone’s child, that individual has a right to take steps to protect their children or family.

If there is a legitimate reason to believe that you would act on your threat, a physical attack may be seen as a legitimate response to your words. However, if a physical attack is not considered to be a justifiable response to your words, your attacker would likely be deemed negligent in causing physical injuries.

You can only seek damages in a personal injury case if you are less than 50% responsible for the attack. Your personal injury lawyer can review your case and discuss your options with you.

Take Action Before the Statute of Limitations Runs Out

In the state of New Jersey, you typically have two years from the date of the incident to file a lawsuit. If you fail to do so, it’s unlikely that a judge will be willing to hear your case.

It’s worth noting that there are several reasons why a judge may choose to hear your case even if the statute of limitations has expired. These reasons include the fact that you were a minor when the attack occurred, you were in a coma for more than two years, or that it took time to connect your injuries to the actions of a negligent person.

You will usually have two years from the date of your 18th birthday to pursue a claim arising from something that occurred while you were a minor. If you are incapacitated, the clock generally starts when you regain your ability to understand what is going on around you. If you don’t immediately realize that an attack was the proximate cause of your injuries, a court will likely impute a date by which a reasonable person should have done so.

If you fail to file a lawsuit after the statute of limitations expires, you can still attempt to settle the case outside of court. However, the fact that you no longer have the ability to sue may take away a significant amount of leverage.

The attorneys at RAM Law are here for you. Reach our New Brunswick location by calling (732) 247-3600, our Somerville location by calling (908) 448-2560, and our Freehold location by calling (732) 828-2234. You can also get in touch with our firm by sending an email to [email protected].

Contact Our Office

To schedule a confidential consultation, contact us online or call our offices, in New Brunswick at (732) 247-3600, in Somerville at (908) 448-2560, or in Freehold at (732) 828-2234.

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