I went after a thief who stole my cell phone and I was assaulted...

by Sun

A black male this morning walked into my shop and grabbed my cell phone laying on the counter and fled. I saw him take it so I pursued him. When I caught up to him I grabbed his shirt and demanded my cell phone back. He then assaulted me.

I was hit around the head area about 8 times. I have headaches and swellings in the face and head area with pain. I can't afford a medical bill right now so I am hesitant to go to the hospital.

The police are in search for the suspect right now I believe. In the process of punching me he dropped a prescription drug bottle in the crime scene and fled. Police have it now.

What are the things I should do? Is there a way for me to get medical care and/or compensation to pay for it? Any information you can give would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "I went after a thief who stole my cell phone and I was assaulted...":

Sun (Maryland):

From a legal standpoint you have a right to be compensated for your injuries and resulting costs. That compensation should paid by the person who assaulted you.

From a practical standpoint you will have a difficult time having that man pay your medical bills and costs. It is likely if he had sufficient assets to pay your medical bills and other expenses, he wouldn't have had to steal your cell phone.

Fortunately, the State of Maryland has a Criminal Victim's Compensation Fund. This fund is under the auspices of the Maryland Department of Safety and Correctional Services. To be eligible to receive compensation for your injuries will require a showing of the following:

- The Crime must have been reported to police within 48 hours

- A Criminal Injuries Compensation Board (CICB) application must be filed within 3 years of the crime

- The crime must have occurred in the State of Maryland

- Claimants must be at least 18 years of age

- The victim must have suffered a physical or psychological injury;

- The financial loss resulting from the crime must be at least $100; or at least two weeks of lost wages.

In addition to filing an application for CICB compensation, keep in touch with the police department. Hopefully they will soon arrest the man. Once arrested, his case will be turned over to the local District Attorney's Office. When that occurs, contact the Assistant District Attorney assigned to the prosecution of your attacker (defendant).

Tell the prosecutor you sustained medical bills and related costs after being assaulted by the defendant. If the judge grants a probated sentence, there will be conditions of the probation. As part of those conditions the judge can order the defendant to reimburse you (through the state) on a monthly basis for your medical bills, out-of-pocket expenses, and your lost wages (if any).

The judge cannot order the defendant to pay you any amount for pain and suffering.

If the defendant fails to pay reimbursement, that would be a violation of his probation conditions. That violation would likely result in the defendant's arrest and incarceration for a period of time up to the maximum period under the law.

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,

Judge Calisi

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