3 Questions To Ask When Hiring A Personal Injury Lawyer As The Victim Of Domestic Violence

Posted on: 15 February 2016


It is easy to associate hiring a personal injury lawyer with being injured in public or getting bitten from a neighbor's dog. However, there is little more personal than the relationship between two adults who are in an intimate relationship and unfortunately, that relationship becomes violent all too often. Recent statistics have established that more than 10 million men and women are the victim of domestic violence in the United States each year. If you have been the victim of that experience, after making sure that you and your children are safe, it is important to know that you can speak with a personal injury lawyer about seeking compensation for your trauma.  

#1-What Is Necessary To Establish That The Domestic Violence Occurred?

One challenging aspect of many domestic violence lawsuits has often been the infrequency with which its occurrence has been reported to law enforcement. If you have ever felt that you could or not or should not be allowed to report the abuse, you are not alone. Data has recently been released that the average woman who reports domestic violence to the police has already been abused at least 35 times.

That means that many victims leave the home without ever reporting it to authorities and others endure it for years without asking for help. Therefore, it will be important to ask what evidence can be introduced into your case to establish your injuries. Medical records, including pharmaceutical ones, and photographs may be considered. In addition, eye witnesses, even of children who witnessed the abuse, may also be allowed as evidence in this civil trial.

#2-Does The Divorce Have To Be Final?

Another assumption that is often erroneously made is that married persons must wait for a divorce to be finalized, before pursuing a civil suit against their abuser. In fact, that is not always true. Although it is frequently recommended to file for the divorce or a legal separation, there are many reasons that you may not have done so.

In addition, even if you have filed for a legal dissolution of the relationship and despite the fact that many states allow divorces to be finalized within weeks of filing, there are many reasons for possible delays. Since religious, personal or cultural beliefs can further delay or prevent the process, it is crucial to be sure of what your options are in that state and how any pertinent variables could impact the probability of a successful outcome to the case. 

#3-What Is The State  Of Limitations In Your State?

The statute of limitations refers to the amount of time between when you were injured and when you can file a lawsuit or seek criminal charges. For personal injuries, you have at least one year and often more, in each state. It can become complicated if one injury did not heal or prompted a second health challenge. 

One example would be if a bone or joint were damaged by your abuser and although it healed, it developed arthritis later on. In that or similar instances, there might be additional time available to you to file a suit.   

In conclusion, a personal injury lawyer can often help victims of domestic violence obtain financial compensation against their former abusers. As a result, it will be very helpful to know the right questions to ask when you are choosing an attorney, like one from Walz Law Office, for this important task.