Can I collect damages after my boyfriend beat me up?
(Fort Myers, Florida)
On September 22, 2011 my boyfriend in Knoxville Maryland punched me several times and threw me down the stairs. He was sent to jail and I was placed in the hospital overnight and taken to a women's shelter. I took a flight to Ft. Myers, Florida to get away and start my life over. He was supporting me so I left with very little money.
My face is mutilated. I have huge hematomas and required stitches on my chin. I'm not able to apply for employment due to the way my face looks. I am staying with a girl friend and have no means of supporting myself. Is there any way to collect from my boyfriend for compensatory damages?
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ANSWER for "Can I collect damages after my boyfriend beat me up?":
Suzanne (Fort Meyers, Florida):
Yes. There are two ways you can pursue your boyfriend for the injuries you suffered, and for the medical bills, out of pocket expenses, lost wages, and the pain and suffering you've endured.
The first way is through the criminal justice system. Hopefully you did the right thing and filed a criminal complaint against your boyfriend at or about the time he assaulted you while in Maryland.
If you did, and your boyfriend isn't already on probation for another offense, where he might already be going to prison, you may have a chance of having the Assistant District Attorney negotiate a plea bargain with your hopefully ex-boyfriend's Attorney.
Contact the Assistant District Attorney who will be handling your ex-boyfriend's case. Tell her you will agree to a plea bargain of probation for your ex-boyfriend, ONLY if as part of his probation he is ordered to pay your medical expenses. That way if he fails to pay them he will be in violation of his probation and subject to arrest and incarceration for the entire range of punishment the crime holds.
The second manner of recovery is to sue him in civil court. To do that you will have to travel back to Maryland. Maryland has jurisdiction over the case. The most important action you should consider is making sure he doesn't assault you or anyone else again.
The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.
Best of luck,
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