Can You Sue For Intentional Tort?
This week, we are going to go a bit off the beaten path. Ordinarily, the focus is accident cases and persons injured by the negligent acts of another. Negligence assumes there is no malice or intent and it is accidental and not intended by nature to cause harm. However, there are intentional injury cases, where someone intends to hurt another, such as an assault or battery case. We sometimes see these cases where domestic violence has occurred between a boyfriend and girlfriend or husband and wife. When there is a divorce case, most divorce judges like to separate the divorce from the civil case, since in a divorce case, as a court of equity, you are not entitled to a jury trial, but when filed an ordinary civil large claims lawsuit, you are entitled to a jury trial. You do have a right as a married person to sue your spouse for battery or assault.
In Wisconsin, under sec. 893.57 Stats., you have three years to start a lawsuit for an intentional tort. If you fail to do within three years after the cause of action accrues, the claim is otherwise barred.
If you have been the victim of an assault or battery by a boyfriend or girlfriend, it is important that you document the case immediately. This means contacting the police and having them write a report. You need to get immediate medical care by going to the hospital. You should take photographs or a video of your injuries to document how you look and how severe the assault may have been. You need to follow up with all appropriate medical care following the injury. If you miss time from work, that would become part of your case as well. You are entitled to be compensated for your pain and suffering, your medical bills, lost time from work, and if you suffer any type of permanent injury or disfigurement, compensation for that as well. Punitive damages may also apply in certain aggravated cases. Most personal injury lawyers do not like pursuing these type of cases because insurance will not cover an intentional act. Therefore, there is no sure way for the lawyer to be paid. Unless you agree to pay the lawyer per hour for the time, the chances of recovery from an individual are not good, which is why most injury lawyers have a tendency to stay away from these type of cases. However, depending on the severity of your injuries and how vicious the assault was, and if the person is responsible and has a good job or other assets that may satisfy the claim, you should consider pursing the case by filing a lawsuit, and eventually, if you look hard enough, you will find an attorney who just may be willing to take on your ex- boyfriend/girlfriend or soon to be ex-spouse.
Domestic violence in this country is a very serious problem. If you have been the victim of an assault and battery by someone you cared about, you should not just forget about it or let it go away. You should pursue the case and seek justice against this individual who harmed you and may have seriously injured you for life. I have seen aggravated cases in my career of individuals who have been savagely beaten by their spouse or even killed by a former boyfriend/girlfriend or ex-spouse. You need to take any threats or acts of domestic violence seriously and now you know you can also sue for civil damages for an intentional tort against the person who did this to you. You should also protect yourself by going to court and securing a domestic abuse injunction for this person to keep away from you.