In order to collect monetary damages (which would include medical expenses, pain and suffering, and punitive damages
) you must sue the criminal directly. The state will not award you with anything other than your medical expenses under the Victims Compensation Fund.
If you expect that your expenses and pain and suffering from this incident are under $10,000.00, you can file the claim against him in small claims
court. An assault case is a pretty easy case to win. If you asked for a jury, it is likely that they would award you then entire amount if you can adequately describe what happened to you with enough emotion to make them angry at the criminal.
If you wish to attempt to collect more than $10,000, you will need to file the suit in county or district court
. This would require a lawyer because the rules of civil procedure
and the rules of evidence apply.
So, in the end, whether you need a lawyer or not is really up to you. If you want to claim more than $10K, or you simply don't want to bother with the headache, then you should hire a lawyer.
Please let me know if you have any further questions. Please also kindly consider rating my answer positively so that I am compensated by the website for my work on your question. Rating positively does not cause an additional charge and does not prevent us from further discussing your questions.