Queens Attorney for Injured Domestic Abuse Victims
Being the victim of domestic violence is one of the most difficult experiences anyone can ever be forced to endure. Domestic abuse is a serious criminal offense in New York. Depending on the circumstances, it could be charged as a felony. Beyond that, the perpetrator may bear civil financial liability for the injuries that they caused to their spouse, intimate partner, or another person. If you or a loved one was injured in a domestic abuse dispute in Queens, NY, professional guidance and support are available. You or your loved one may be entitled to financial compensation.
At Sullivan & Galleshaw, LLP, our Queens personal injury lawyers have the skills and expertise to represent domestic violence victims in civil legal claims. Our firm knows to hold perpetrators accountable. Thanks to our many years of experience handling countless personal injury claims, we have developed the necessary skills to fight aggressively for the compensation you deserve. Please don’t wait another day and contact our law offices today. Schedule your free, strictly confidential consultation today by dialing (718) 550-6442 or by sending us a direct message online.
Domestic Violence Remains a Serious Problem
Sadly, domestic violence remains a serious problem in Queens, New York City, New York State, and throughout the United States. The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) reports that 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have been the victim of domestic violence at some point during their life. Alarmingly, even these statistics are likely to understate the scope of the problem: Domestic violence is chronically underreported. Too many people suffer in silence.
Know Your Rights Under the Law: Criminal, Family, and Civil Protections
Beyond being highly sensitive matters, domestic abuse cases are also legally complex. Domestic violence incidents are covered by an interconnected web of criminal, family, and civil laws and regulations. Here is a basic overview of the key things victims should know about the law:
- Criminal:As noted previously, domestic violence is a criminal offense in New York. Depending on the nature of allegations, it may be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. Domestic violence resulting in a serious injury to the victim can be a Class B felony carrying significant prison time. A criminal charge can be an important part of getting justice—but it will not get an injured victim financial compensation.
- Family Law: There may be a family law aspect to a domestic violence case. The victim of the offense can seek a protective order in a family law court. A protective order may be put into place regardless of whether or not criminal charges are filed. A protective order (domestic violence restraining order) helps to protect the safety of the victim.
- Civil: The civil legal claims process exists primarily to help an aggrieved party (victim) get financial compensation for their damages. In New York State, an injured victim can seek monetary support for the complete extent of their losses, including for both out-of-pocket costs and intangible damages. At Sullivan and Galleshaw, LLP, we help domestic violence victims pursue every available path to get the full and fair financial that they deserve.
Filing a Civil Claim After a Domestic Abuse Situation in Queens, NY
There is a generalized misconception that individuals who have been prosecuted for a crime cannot be tried in civil court. It is essential to make a distinction between criminal and civil cases for the purpose of compensation. The legal principle known as double jeopardy prevents a defendant from being tried for the same crime twice. However, this applies to criminal cases exclusively. In other words, you are not barred from filing a civil suit against your abuser even if he or she was tried for the same offense at the criminal level.
There has also been some confusion regarding suing a family member in cases of domestic abuse. Some courts in the U.S. do not favor claims against family members because it would jeopardize family unity. Under NY law, you can file a civil claim against a family member in domestic abuse cases.
There are several things you should consider before filing a claim for domestic abuse in Queens. Domestic abuse civil claims can be stressful and emotionally draining. Often, injured victims have to relive their experience while proving their cases in court. Additionally, going forward with your claim may cause friction amongst your family, which you should be aware of. However, despite this reality, domestic abuse victims often go forward not only to get the compensation they rightfully deserve but also to get a sense of closure. Our Queens attorneys for injured domestic abuse victims can assist you with these matters.
Proving Your Claim as an Injured Domestic Abuse Victim in Queens
As we mentioned, you can file a personal injury claim against our abuser in Queens. However, before you can get compensation, you need to prove a specific set of elements. Most personal injury cases involve the defendant’s negligence. However, there are entirely different factors that come into play in domestic abuse cases. The fact that you may have been abused means there was intention behind the defendant’s actions. Thus, the court will expect you to provide evidence showing the defendant’s intentional tort.
Intentional tort refers to the willful, deliberate act to inflict harm upon another. Different from other types of torts where the defendant’s negligence plays a significant role, in intentional tort cases, the defendant’s mindset and intent are directed towards inflicting damage to the victim. There are different iterations of intentional tort, but we will focus solely on the one that applies for most domestic violence cases: civil assault and battery.
- Civil assault – similar to criminal assault – doesn’t require the victim to be physically touched by the abuser. As a domestic abuse victim in a civil claim, you will need to establish that the defendant had the intention of inflicting harm, had the ability to inflict harm and that they created a reasonable apprehension of bodily harm on you.
- Civil battery requires showing the existence of additional elements. The court expects you to prove that the defendant intentionally touched you, or applied force in a harmful manner, without your consent. If you were threatened and touched without your consent, you may have a cause of action against your abuser. It is essential to understand that you have the burden of showing the defendant’s intentional actions as a plaintiff. Que quantum of evidence required in a civil claim should not be confused with that of a criminal case.
Compensation for Injured Domestic Abuse Victims in Queens
Injured victims need compensation to pay their medical bills and support themselves through challenging times. In New York State, civil assault and battery claims are types of intentional torts that can grant you the chance to get compensation. You may wonder how much compensation you can expect from your case. The answer to this question is: it depends. Every domestic abuse case in Queens is different. This means that the court will need to evaluate each case considering all of the circumstances surrounding the domestic abuse situation. However, there may be common elements the court may consider when assessing each case. For instance, when you present your petition in court, they will focus on the extent of your injuries and the losses you experienced as a result of the abuse, including your pain and suffering.
You Can Rely On the Queens, NY Civil Domestic Battery Lawyers at Sullivan & Galleshaw
There are perhaps no more sensitive, complex cases than a domestic assault. A person seriously injured at the hands of a current partner, former partner, or other loved one is often dealing with a whirlwind of emotions. At Sullivan & Galleshaw, LLP, we are focused on helping victims secure their future. Among other things, our Queens domestic violence injury lawyers are prepared to:
- Hear your story and explain your options under New York law;
- Investigate the domestic violence incident—securing the evidence you need;
- Represent you in any settlement negotiations regarding your civil case; and
- Take whatever legal action is appropriate to get you the best outcome.
Frequently Asked Questions About Civil Domestic Abuse Lawsuits in New York
What is the Statute of Limitations in a Civil Domestic Violence Claim?
It depends on the specific nature of the offense. You have limited time to bring a civil claim for domestic battery or domestic assault. However, if you were also a victim of sexual assault as part of the attack, you may have more time to file a lawsuit. New York recently changed its laws to provide more options for sexual assault victims. To learn the statute of limitations in your specific case, contact our Queens civil domestic violence lawyers for immediate help.
Can You Recover Punitive Damages in a Civil Domestic Violence Case?
Punitive damages are a form of penalty damages that are generally disfavored in civil personal injury claims in New York. That being said, they can be awarded in a limited number of cases. In exceptional cases, the court may grant what is known as punitive damages. Punitive damages are special awards granted in situations where the defendant’s actions were particularly egregious, wanton, and willful. The court often uses this distinctive award to benefit the victim and to prevent others from engaging in similar conduct in the future. It is possible that punitive compensation could be granted in a domestic violence claim.
Do You Have to Prove Domestic Violence Beyond a Reasonable Doubt?
No. Not in a civil case. A different standard of liability applies. n a criminal case, the prosecutor must prove their case beyond any reasonable doubt. However, in civil cases, you are only required to show the elements of your claim through the preponderance of the evidence, which is a lower evidence requirement. Our Queens attorney for injured domestic abuse victims can help you with these matters.
Queens Attorney for Injured Domestic Abuse Victims Offering Free Consultations
We can help if you or a loved one was injured in a domestic violence situation in Queens. At the law offices of Sullivan & Galleshaw, LLP, we know how challenging and frustrating dealing with this situation can be for you and your loved ones. For this reason, we dedicate all of our efforts and resources to holding the liable parties accountable for your losses. We will work tirelessly to get the compensation you deserve for the physical, emotional, and psychological injuries you suffered. Call our law offices today or contact us directly online for your free, confidential consultation. Our phone number is (718) 550-6442.