Let’s say you were held hostage in a bank during a robbery that went terribly wrong. Those heinous robbers began threatening an adorable little old lady. Unable to help yourself, you decided there was no choice but to play the role of the hero. You told those criminals to knock it off in the loudest, sternest voice you could muster. Responding predictably, they cracked you upside your noggin with a very large gun. You suffered an injury. What next? Are there any legal avenues to find compensation for your legal bills?
There are several options depending on the circumstances of the criminal activity. First, were you an employee of the bank? You should have been trained on the proper response to this type of crime. If you decided to play the hero after being trained to shut your mouth and do what the robbers say, then the first option is unavailable. If you were not trained on the appropriate safety measures, you can sue your boss for negligence.
The other measures are more obvious. First, let’s say the police knab the robbers. They charge them with assault, theft, and whatever else — and then send them on their way to jail. You have the right to speak with a prosecutor about the assault. You have the right to ask for restitution to recover damages for your injuries. In order to do this, you will want to keep track of related medical bills. The easiest way to ask for restitution is to find a lawyer first.
The last measure is suing in civil court. You can sue someone who is already incarcerated, but the legal hurdles are more complicated. You will want a lawyer for this too. In civil court, you’re more likely to be granted non-economic damages pertaining to emotional trauma in addition to economic damages like medical bills. Because the injuries were sustained during someone else’s commission of a crime, the judge might even impose punitive damages to punish the perpetrator.
In certain cases, you might be able to obtain workers compensation when injured by a third party at work. Looking for more information about the relevant laws? You can visit our legal website to speak with a lawyer.
The biggest problem you are likely to see when choosing any of these options is the exigence of the guilty party. Individuals who commit crimes like robbery or assault are far more likely to live in poverty in the first place — and being convicted of those crimes certainly won’t improve their financial situation.
The point is this: although you can seek restitution or sue in civil court, the person who committed the crime that led to your personal injury is likely to never pay you back. In fact, courts don’t do much to help you get your money. The better options are workers compensation or suing your employer for negligence — but these are not always available. That’s why you should always contact a lawyer to discuss the circumstances surrounding your injuries.