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Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 37125
Experience:  Multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation and administration.
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I am curious about the correct path to choose. I was assaulted

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I am curious about the correct path to choose. I was assaulted by a man who was extremely intoxicated, this past Saturday, who decided to put my head into a granite countertop at a local bar. I was sober and was trying to walk away to avoid a fight. I received 9 staples to the back of my head, to which I have hospital photos. I have filed the police report, uncovered his name and some background information along with picking up a copy of the security tapes (it's blurry and doesn't help) yet all the bartenders told me they would help in court if needed.

I have called the hospital and they said a ball park number for my injuries should be around $5000.00+ Would this be to much for small claims court in California? I am afraid this gentleman who did play pro baseball for a few years doesn't have money to go after as I hear he is now a personal trainer at a gym. Furthermore, there is an Asian gentleman (I have his first name looking for his last name) who kept mouthing off and was the complete instigator. Could I sue him for Battery? He did chest-bump me which caused me to start walking away and that is when his friend slammed my head into the bar.

Can I garnish his wages in small claims court to help secure my judgement if I win? Or is the only other option to hire a lawyer and drag him and his friend down with attorney fees?

I want to make a good and calculated move as I don't want to waste time and money but I want my bills paid and hope this prevents these two idiots from hurting someone else.

Thanks.
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 8 months ago.
Thank you for your question. Please permit me to assist you with your concerns.

To make it easier, please let me split your question into two distinct sections, specifically civil and criminal.

Under civil rights and obligations, you could potentially sue the individual who caused harm to you provided that it was not in self-defense. In California small claims are up to $10,000, so if your case is worth more, perhaps going to a different and higher court would be wiser. This is a situation where there may also be a claim for 'assault' (which is the taunting and the verbal commentss against the other gentleman, but if he never threw a punch, it makes for a weak case. In addition a typical value for a case is from 3-5 times the medical bills, as that is considered to be the additional pain and suffering. There is always a risk that if he has no money, while you can sue, you may never collect. As for a 'chest bump', while it is technically a battery, if it itself never caused you injury, you can sue but damages would be minimal.

In small claims you can later pursue a wage garnishment, a bank levy, and judgment liens if you prevail. But you cannot sue for attorney fees, that is not able to be pursued at the lower courts. You also can sue them both as co-defendants especially if you believe that they acted in concert.

As for the criminal element, please do not forget that this is also a criminal matter. It may be wise to pursue charges and only sue once and if a conviction is obtained--that information can be brought into a civil case which would of course help strengthen your ability to ultimately prevail.

Hope that helps.


Sincerely,

Dimitry, Esq.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.

Thank you for the quick response!


 


My question is how would I value the higher court verses the small claims court choice? If the medical bills end up being around $5,000.00 would it be a smarter route to obtain a judgement such as bank levy or wage garnishment in small claims court without the attorney fees verses a higher court even if the reward is greater plus attorney fees?


 


Note: Can you sue for pain and suffering in small claims court?


 


I do believe they acted in concert as the Asian man repeated to his friends, "Watch what we will do when he stands up" as we ordered drinks before trying to walk past them. It seems this depends upon their net worth and assets within their names I assume brings baring to which court to choose?


 


Who should I contact to help make this decision? I a personal injury lawyer, criminal lawyer or small claims advisor?


 


I will be pressing charges in the criminal department as soon as someone is assigned my case next week.


 


Note: I never threw any punches or retaliated. The bar staff was grabbing the two guys during that time and I just walked outside unaware I was bleeding.


 

Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 8 months ago.
William,

Thank you for your follow-up, and you are most welcome. Please allow me to clarify.

You posted:
Thank you for the quick response!
You are most welcome!


My question is how would I value the higher court verses the small claims court choice? If the medical bills end up being around $5,000.00 would it be a smarter route to obtain a judgement such as bank levy or wage garnishment in small claims court without the attorney fees verses a higher court even if the reward is greater plus attorney fees?
That is up to you to evaluate. If you want to sue for $100,000, you can, just not in small claims. Just be aware that the maximum you can sue for in small claims is $10,000. As for obtaining a judgment and which is 'smarter', I cannot answer that--no attorney can because I have no clue as to whether or not the individual or individuals have money to pursue. If they have money, getting an attorney makes more sense, but if they have no funds, pursuing small claims would be wiser.


Note: Can you sue for pain and suffering in small claims court?
Yes, as part of your 'whole' injuries.


I do believe they acted in concert as the Asian man repeated to his friends, "Watch what we will do when he stands up" as we ordered drinks before trying to walk past them. It seems this depends upon their net worth and assets within their names I assume brings baring to which court to choose?
Correct.



Who should I contact to help make this decision? I a personal injury lawyer, criminal lawyer or small claims advisor?
This is likely a personal injury case. You can also contact a general practitioner as most also handle some small claims and criminal matters.



I will be pressing charges in the criminal department as soon as someone is assigned my case next week.



Note: I never threw any punches or retaliated. The bar staff was grabbing the two guys during that time and I just walked outside unaware I was bleeding.
It does make it appear that you were more of a victim then participant or instigator--I am just happy to hear that you were not seriously injured.

Good luck!

Sincerely,

Dimitry, Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 37125
Experience: Multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation and administration.
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