February 12, 2012

Assault Leaves Man with Severe Brain Injury

by Levin & Perconti

Most traumatic brain injuries are caused by accidents—car collisions, falls, and the like. However, the focus on these accidental injuries (and the subsequent brain injury lawsuits that they often spur) should not lead to ignoring the fact that many brain injuries are actually caused by intentional misconduct. Head trauma in physical altercations and fights often leads to serious injuries.

Noozhawk News reported this week on just such an altercation. Local police were called to the scene of a physical attack on a man early in the morning last Sunday. A passerby apparently called 9-1-1, alerting officials to the fact that a man was severely injured and lying on the street. When authorities arrived they found the man on the ground unconscious. He was convulsing, and had blood all over his face. After being admitted to an area intensive care unit it was discovered that he had a fractured skull, bleeding on the brain, and a broken nose. It was clear that the man had been attacked leading to the brain injury.

Fortunately, a witness saw that a car fled the scene, jotting down the license plate number. Police were able to find the car near the scene not long after. Four people were detained, but one of them was identified by the witness as the person who actually perpetrated the assault on the victim. The attacker has been charged with felony battery. The driver of the car was also charged with DUI and possession of marijuana.

So what are the legal implications of these incidents?

Of course, the most obvious implication is that criminal charges will be filed against those who broke the law in physically hurting the victim. Many different crimes may be implicated in these situations. As most readers know, the possible punishments for those crimes include a combination of fines, community services, and prison time. Considering the severity of this particular attack, jail time will likely be implicated.

But the victim of these situations also may have individual ways to seek recourse with the filing of a civil lawsuit. Our Chicago injury attorneys often explain to victim of attack that civil suits can be filed in tandem with criminal charges. The civil action is filed on behalf of a private citizen—not the public at large—and may allow the victim to be financially compensated for the harm caused by the assault. Medical bills, lost wages, emotional suffering, and similar injuries may all be addressed in one of these suits.

In certain circumstances, when a bar fight occurs for example, one of these injury lawsuits might be filed against third-parties that may have contributed to the attack. For example, if a bar or tavern did not act appropriately by over serving a guest, then they may be held accountable for the consequences of that conduct. In addition, in certain circumstances, if a landlord does not keep areas on property safe—perhaps by having inadequately lighting—then they may have contributed to the circumstances which allowed an assault to occur. Depending on the specifics, they too may be held accountable for their inaction which factored into an assault.

See Our Related Blog Posts:

It Remains Difficult For Some Victims to Receive Compensation For Their Harm

Respected National Think Tank Criticizes Damage Caps