Throughout all of history, society has been marked with certain trends of violence that seem to persist regardless of cultural developments and social improvements. One such trend that plagues all areas of society today is domestic abuse. While violence is a wrongdoing that can occur in any setting and between any two people, domestic abuse refers to acts of violence and abuse that occur within the setting of a household.
Under definitions of domestic abuse, victims of domestic violence can be girlfriends, boyfriends, husbands, wives, sons, daughters and even siblings of their abuser. Likewise, the abuser can be any of the above as well. As long as the act of violence and abuse occurs in an intimate relationship or family relationship, it has the potential of being considered as domestic violence. As previously mentioned, domestic violence is a widespread problem among all demographics regardless of race, gender, age and income. While being a criminal punishable offense, domestic violence does the greatest damage to the victim of the abuse who is likely to suffer from emotional and physical trauma for the remainder of their lives.
Well-meaning focus on the problem of domestic abuse in media, political and legal platforms often forgets about the victims of domestic abuse. While law enforcement does its job of punishing the abusers that commit such acts of violence, that punishment does little for the victims, who are left to deal with the emotional and physical scars of their experience. Fortunately, victims of domestic abuse have the right to take matters in their own hands and with the assistance of a personal injury attorney.
A claim for compensation following injuries sustained in an abusive relationship can be made before, during or after the abuser has been subjected to criminal proceedings. While it is often easier to prove wrongdoing in civil court if the defendant has already been found guilty of the offense in criminal court, a victim may bring suit against their abuser at any time. The difference between a criminal trial involving domestic abuse and a civil case involving the offense is that the ultimate result of a civil trial is aimed at benefitting the victim rather than punishing the abuser. Damages claimed in an injury claim involving domestic violence may include but are not limited to:
The fact that the damages are intended to compensate the victim for their emotional and physical injuries does not mean that the abuser cannot be punished in a civil case. Punitive damages are often included in a claim involving acts that are particularly heinous or malicious, such as domestic violence, and are intended as a form of penalty against the defendant for their wrongdoing. These punitive damages are ultimately added into the total award given to the victim and therefore indirectly benefit the victim but their primary purpose is to serve as a punishment to the defendant.
If you or someone you know has been the victim of domestic abuse, a San Fernando Valley personal injury attorney from The Law Offices of Gerald L. Marcus wants to advocate for your rights. Money may not do much to heal the emotional trauma that you experienced in that difficult relationship but you deserve whatever form of recompense available in order to help you move on from this tragic experience. Call a San Fernando Valley personal injury lawyer from our firm today to learn more about your rights as a victim of domestic abuse and how we can help you take action against the person or people responsible for these terrible acts against you.