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TexLaw, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 4430
Experience:  Lead trial/International commercial attorney licensed 11 yrs
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I am the victim of aggravated battery and dont know how to

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I am the victim of aggravated battery and don't know how to go about litigating for expected permanent damage to my hand and possible inability to return to nursing. I need answers to how to go about being compenstated for pain and suffering in addition. What type of recourse do I have legally? I was injured at work and am receiving workmens' comp which doesn't net what I would be making normally and must pay my insurance benefits out of the compensation money I do receive. The defendent has been charged with the felony, is still in jail, and has not gone to Superior court yet. I would appreciate any information you could give me to start me in the right direction

Thank you for your question. Before I provide you with an answer, I need you to clarify a few points.

1. Is the aggravated battery the same injury which occurred at work and for which you are receiving workers' compensation benefits?

2. Did the person who committed the aggravated battery work for your employer?

I look forward to hearing back from you.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Yes, the injury resulted from a battery at work; I work in a county jail. The person who battered me was a detainee brought to the jail on another offense; this person does not work for my employer. Sorry for taking so long; hand is still splinted from surgery; can't type easily with one hand

Thank you for your response.

You may file a suit against the detainee who injured you and seek:

1. Medical expenses (past and future)
2. Pain and suffering
3. Disfigurement and impairment
4. Lost income and future lost income
5. Punitive Damages

Medical expenses will be only what you (or the workers' comp carrier) were charged, and any future expenses that your doctors predict you will need (they will have to testify to this).

Pain and suffering is an amount that is within the discretion of the jury. Generally, you should ask for 3 times the amount that your medical bills were.

Disfigurement and impairment is an amount that is within the discretion of the jury to compensate you for the change in physical appearance of your body due to the injury and any loss in the use of the body part due to the injury. This number should also be a multiple of the medical expenses, around another 3 times the medical.

Lost income and future lost income will be any loss of earning capacity (your ability to do your job and the loss of wages) that you can calculate is related to the injury. This usually requires expert testimony to establish.

Punitive damages are in an amount that is determined by the jury, but you should ask for a large amount that would punish the defendant.

The real question at the heart of your case should really be whether you have any sort of potential to recover anything from this defendant. Does the defendant have any money?

If the defendant does not have any money or property which you could seize to satisfy the judgment, then there is no point in suing the defendant.

Also, you must remember that any award you receive from the defendant will be subject to claim by the workers compensation carrier to reimburse them for any payments made on your claim.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you. So is this something that I will need an attorney for or do I petition the court myself? What type of attorney and which court? How does one determine if the defendant has assets? How long do I have to file a petition?

A personal injury action such as this requires in depth knowledge of the legal issues involved if you are to attempt to obtain all the damages that are owed to you. Thus, if you determine that the Defendant does have assets, then it would be best to hire an attorney to present this claim in the superior court.

However, because this is a suit against an individual and not an insurance company, you will likely have to pay the attorney fees up front, unless you can show that recover from the defendant's money is very likely. Most attorney's will not take a contingency fee case unless they are suing someone who has insurance that will pay the damages. In this case, there is no insurance coverage on intentional torts like battery,.

To obtain evidence regarding the Defendant's net worth, you must hire a private investigator to do an asset search. You can also look through the property records to see if you can locate any property that the defendant owns.

Finally, you can simply sue the defendant in magistrate court for $15,000 (the jurisdictional limit). This is a small claims court and you wouldn't need a lawyer, but the recovery is limited to $15,000.00

The statute of limitations is two years from the date of the tort.

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