About one in four women and one in nine men experience domestic violence in the United States. That adds up to about 10 million people per year. The term covers physical, emotional, verbal, financial, and sexual abuse. It can be perpetrated by intimate partners, family members, and even roommates. Domestic violence leaves lasting emotional and physical scars, which is why some victims wonder if they can sue their abuser for damages.
Even if you haven’t had any luck holding your abuser responsible in criminal court, civil cases require a much lower burden of proof. You may be able to receive compensation for medical costs, lost wages, emotional distress and more. However, keep in mind that winning a personal injury suit against your abuser won’t put them in jail or keep them away from you. Since this is a potentially dangerous situation, be sure to talk to the police and your attorney before deciding how to proceed.
How Can I Sue My Abuser?
When trying to sue an abuser, keep in mind that you’ll need to have proof of your losses. For example, it is extremely common for domestic violence victims to miss or lose employment due to abuse. You may have suffered physical abuse, but you need to have proof: medical or police reports, photos of the damage, and witness testimony may help in these cases. Since many victims feel shame about their abuse, they may not document their injuries.
In the most dire cases, a deceased victim’s family may be able to sue for wrongful death—one famous example is the O.J. Simpson civil case. Nicole Brown Simpson’s family successfully sued and received millions in compensatory and punitive damages. While no amount of money can make up for losing a loved one to domestic violence, it can help cover costs like therapy, funeral expenses and more.
In Ohio, you may also sue your abuser under Ohio Rev. Code 2307.66, which allows victims to sue people for non-consensually distributing their private sexual images. Victims can recover both compensatory and punitive damages—compensatory damages cover economic and noneconomic losses, while punitive damages are meant to punish the defendant for particularly egregious conduct.
Domestic violence has increased over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. If you’re a victim, please focus on getting away safely first. Once you’ve gotten away from immediate danger, call a personal injury attorney to discuss your case.
Recover Damages Due to Domestic Violence: Call a Personal Injury Lawyer Today
If you’ve been injured as a result of domestic violence, I’ll Make Them Pay!® Call my office at 877.944.4373 today for more information. Together, we’ll discuss your options and determine the best way to seek compensation.