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Can I Sue If I'm Assaulted?

Can I Sue If I'm Assaulted?

Innocent men, women and children are assaulted every day in South Carolina. Whether the assault was a part of a burglary, kidnapping, robbery, theft, or hazing, the offender can be prosecuted for assault and battery under Section 16-3-600 of the South Carolina Code of Laws Unannotated. If you’re a victim of violence, the state could press criminal charges against your attacker under Sec. 16-3-600, but where does that leave you? As a result of the attack, you may be dealing with the following consequences:

  • An expensive hospital stay
  • Exorbitant medical bills
  • Lost income
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Pregnancy (rape victims)
  • Sexually transmitted diseases (rape victims)
  • Scarring or permanent disfigurement
  • Broken bones or vision loss
  • Pain from the attack
  • And more

In reality, crime victims can suffer huge losses after an attack. But what many people don’t realize is that in many cases, they can file a personal injury lawsuit to help compensate them for the damages incurred from the attack. Here are some examples where an assault victim may sue for damages:

  • A woman is sexually assaulted in a nightclub.
  • An employee is kidnapped from their work.
  • A man is attacked in a dark parking lot.
  • A liquor store clerk is shot during a robbery.
  • A college freshman is seriously injured during a hazing incident on campus.
  • A high school student is raped on school grounds.
  • A man is badly beaten by bouncers at a bar.
  • An elderly woman is beaten by a fellow resident at a nursing home.

“But what if the attacker is never caught?” The attacker doesn’t necessarily have to be caught, nor do charges have to be filed for a crime victim to file a personal injury lawsuit. If there is sufficient evidence of the attack; for example, a police report, video footage, or detailed hospital records, the victim may have sufficient evidence to file a personal injury claim. Often, damages can be sought from the property owner’s (where the attack occurred) insurance carrier.

Related: Who Pays for My Injury?

In California, plaintiffs (injured parties) have just three years to file a personal injury claim, otherwise the deadline or “statute of limitations” to file a claim runs out or expires. So, if you’re interested in filing a claim for compensation, it’s best to get started right away.


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