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If You're Injured in a Fight, Can You Sue?

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By Daniel Taylor, Esq. on October 09, 2014 9:08 AM

Can you sue for being injured in a fight?

No matter how hard you may try to avoid it, there's always the chance that you may, at some point, be involved in a fight. And any time fists begin to fly, the odds that someone will be injured increase rapidly.

From black eyes to serious brain injuries, fights can lead to a whole host of injuries. But legally speaking, what can you do if you've suffered an injury from a physical confrontation? Here are a few points to consider:

Criminal Charges Not Required for Lawsuit

Regardless of whether the fight resulted in criminal charges against any of the participants, when there is an injury that may have been caused by the intentional, negligent, or reckless conduct of another person, the injured person may be awarded compensation for his injuries through a personal injury lawsuit.

But not all injuries necessarily make for a winnable or worthwhile lawsuit. What sort of factors may determine the strength or a potential lawsuit for fighting injuries?

Important Factors for Potential Lawsuit

Whether on your own or with the help of a personal injury lawyer, there are several factors that should be considered before pursuing a potential lawsuit for fighting injuries, including:

  • Do you know who caused your injuries? In fights that may involve strangers or multiple people, determining who may have caused your injuries is the first step. A personal injury lawyer may be able to help you investigate if the identity of the person involved in the fight is difficult to ascertain.
  • How serious were your injuries? Not all injuries may be worth the time and expense of a lawsuit. If your injuries did not require medical treatment or cause other damages such as lost wages, it may be better to cut your losses.
  • Did you start the fight? If you did something to instigate the fight, you may have to overcome the other party's claim of self-defense to recover your damages in court.
  • What evidence do you have? You will be required to prove that your damages were caused by the other person or persons involved in the fight in order to recover for your damages. A personal injury attorney can help you locate and obtain vital evidence such as eyewitness accounts or surveillance video of the fight.

Learn more about how to recover for your injuries at FindLaw's section on Assault, Battery, and Intentional Torts.

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