Can Battery Victims Sue for Money?
In Wisconsin someone who physically assaults another is subject to criminal charges for battery. But an arrest and charges under the criminal statute does not prevent you from filing a civil lawsuit as well. In fact, Wisconsin law provides specifically for a civil action against someone who commits a battery against you.
Conviction Is Not Required
Civil lawsuits bring a different burden of proof than a criminal trial. Specifically, a criminal conviction requires a prosecutor to prove actions beyond a reasonable doubt, while civil liability only requires proof beyond a “preponderance of the credible evidence,” meaning a jury need only decide it is more likely than not that the person committed the act. If the person is convicted under the battery statute, this is proof that he or she intentionally caused your injuries or other damages. But the lower standard of proof means that failure to convict on the criminal charges need not mean you cannot prevail in a civil case.
Determining Your Damages
On the other hand, a criminal conviction requires only that the person committed battery. To prevail in your civil case, you must show not only that the person did something wrong, but that he or she caused damage to your person or your property. This means you should be prepared to demonstrate any physical injuries you suffered, and any repair costs or damage assessments to property affected. Your recovery will depend on economic damages you suffered, including any lost wages, medical bills, and the value to your family of anything you are no longer able to do at home.
Your ability to collect money in a civil suit for battery depends on your ability to prove both that the person acted intentionally and that the act created damages. Working with an experienced Madison-area personal injury lawyer is critical to establishing your case. If someone has assaulted you, contact Eisenberg Law Offices to learn how you can get the compensation you deserve.