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N Cal Attorney
N Cal Attorney, Attorney
Category: Personal Injury Law
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Experience:  since 1983
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I was a victim of an assault. Defendant attacked me, tryed

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I was a victim of an assault. Defendant attacked me, tryed to choke. I had a chance to escape. Police arresred him. After the incident i suffer post traumatic stress, not able to work and live in fear. Can i sue defendant for emotional distress?
I'm sorry to hear this.

The answer is Yes.

You can sue your attacker for assault and battery and recover damages for emotional distress as part of those claims. If you present expert testimony that the attack caused PTSD, then that would also be part of the damages caused by the attack if your evidence is believed. Usually testimony of a doctor carries a lot of weight so if you have a doctor treating you for PTSD, that would usually be the expert witness you would have testify that the attack caused the PTSD.

Emotional distress is usually an element of damages and is very rarely the only basis for a lawsuit. Emotional distress is a normal part of damages in cases of assault and battery. Punitive damages can also be recovered for such intentional attacks.

You can get a free consultation from some of the personal injury attorneys listed by location here.

I hope this information is helpful.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Can i ask for compensation only for money i had to spend for the doctors or in general for my suffering? And how much approximately it can be?

You can recover all out of pocket losses including lost wages, medical bills, medication and general damages for pain and suffering including emotional distress.

A local attorney would have a much better idea of the likely value of the claim. Three to eight times the out of pocket loss is not unusual for accident cases but an intentional attack should be valued higher than an accident.


Punitive damages can be several times the actual damages but they depend to some extent on the wealth of a defendant. If a poor person attacked you, the punitive damages would be much less than if a millionaire attacked you.





N Cal Attorney, Attorney
Satisfied Customers: 8979
Experience: since 1983
N Cal Attorney and 8 other Personal Injury Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
The attacker is 18 years old. So basically the value of the claim cannot be greater then 100??
Thank you for the Excellent rating.

There is no fixed upper limit on the value of the claim, and it is worth at least the amount of actual out of pocket loss.

NJ has a statute that limits punitive damages, posted at

2A:15-5.14. Determination of award; limitations; exceptions.

6. a. Before entering judgment for an award of punitive damages, the trial judge shall ascertain that the award is reasonable in its amount and justified in the circumstances of the case, in light of the purpose to punish the defendant and to deter that defendant from repeating such conduct. If necessary to satisfy the requirements of this section, the judge may reduce the amount of or eliminate the award of punitive damages.

b. No defendant shall be liable for punitive damages in any action in an amount in excess of five times the liability of that defendant for compensatory damages or $350,000, whichever is greater.

c. The provisions of subsection b. of this section shall not apply to causes of action brought pursuant to P.L.1993, c.137 (C.2A:53A-21 et seq.), P.L.1945, c.169 (C.10:5-1 et seq.), P.L.1989, c.303 (C.26:5C-5 et seq.), P.L.1992, c.109 (C.2A:61B-1) or P.L.1986, c.105, (C.34:19-1 et seq.), or in cases in which a defendant has been convicted pursuant to N.J.S.2C:11-3, N.J.S.2C:11-4, R.S.39:4-50 or section 2 of P.L.1981, c.512 (C.39:4-50.4a) or the equivalent under the laws of any other jurisdiction.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
So if i make a claim for 5000$ for example and defendant doesnt have this ammount at the moment. How its gonna work after that?
A New Jersey judgment is enforceabe for 20 years, and may be renewed for an additional 20 years, see which explains how to enforce a judgment.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I saw 4 police officers 10 blocks before the accident happened. Can i sue state or police for not doing their job and putting my life in danger?
Did you ask them for help before you were attacked?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Believe it or not, the police do not have a general duty to protect people absent a request for assistance, or if they were aware of some facts that would put them on notice of the danger you were about to face.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Defendant was charged with assault, attemped to sexual assault and criminal restraint. My life was in danger. 10000 for punitive damages sounds reasonable?
I think $10,000 in compensatory damages would not be excessive, and punitive damages can be several times the compensatory damages.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi, I'd like to schedule a follow up appointment with N Cal Attorney on May 7th, 2013 at Noon Eastern Time Zone.

I'm sorry missed you. but I was out of town all day until just now, but I'll be back on line by 3 pm tomorrow, Pacific time.

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