Visitor Question

Is the Perpetrator of Domestic Abuse Required to Pay for Medical Treatment?

Submitted By: Kelly (Drexel Hill, PA)

My ex-husband, who was an Olympic boxer turned pro, on 2 separate occasions punched me in my left shoulder and dislocated the shoulder. Each time I required medical attention and he was arrested.

I have suffered for several years and now I can’t work due to excruciating pain. I was just diagnosed with post-traumatic arthritis and need a total shoulder replacement. I am traveling back and forth to the doctor’s office getting ready for surgery. But I’m broke and don’t even have enough money for my co-pays. I also have a long road of recovery and physical rehab ahead.

My question is, can my ex-boyfriend be forced to pay the co-pays for all the medical treatment and surgery I’ll need, as well as something for my pain and suffering? How would I pursue this? Thanks for any general information.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.


Dear Kelly,

From the information you presented, your ex-husband is liable for the injuries you suffered and your resulting damages. Your damages include all past and future medical bills, your out of pocket expenses for medications, gasoline used to transport you to and from doctors’ appointments, pharmacies, parking fees at medical buildings, etc., your lost wages, and your pain and suffering, also called emotional distress or mental anguish.

One caveat is the statutory time period for settling your claim against him or for filing a lawsuit against him. In the State of Pennsylvania the statute of limitations period for a personal injury case is two years from the date of the injury. If your injuries were inflicted within the last two years you still have time to file a lawsuit.

Contact a personal injury attorney. Most will not charge for an initial office consultation. Bring with you all your medical bills and receipts for your out of pocket expenses. Also bring a written letter from your employer verifying your lost wages.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: April 24, 2013

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