Can I Sue My Ex-Boyfriend for Emotional Distress Due to Domestic Violence?

Cases involving domestic violence may be handled in either criminal or civil proceedings, depending on the individual circumstances. In some states, a case may be able to go through both. A civil case for emotional distress from domestic violence is one aspect of pain and suffering that a judge may award in compensation.

The Civil Suit

While the victim of domestic violence may want to collect entitled compensation for the damage caused by the aggressor, it is not a form of protection and may not help him or her seek justice. The civil litigation that includes pain and suffering, emotional or psychological damage and physical harm is a means to receive monetary support after the damage is over. It is important for the victim to understand this before hiring a lawyer and pursuing the claim against the perpetrator. Then, with this knowledge, he or she may seek the counsel of a lawyer to determine if the case has sufficient strength to proceed to the next step based on evidence.

Other Necessary Steps

Before seeking to try to collect compensation for a civil case against the aggressor from the household, the victim may need or want to petition the court for an order or protection or restraining order. With enough evidence, the judge may grant this to help provide a means of safety against the perpetrator. This order may also help with custody and temporary spousal support. Through this process, the victim has a better chance of protecting the family, friends and other loved ones from the aggressor. It is also possible in many instances to contact the police and pursue a criminal case as well.

What Is Emotional Distress?

After suffering at the hands or the words of someone in the household such as a boyfriend or girlfriend or a spouse, the victim will further suffer emotionally for the trauma inflicted. This distress generally will remain without assistance through a counselor or a psychologist. It takes time and support to get over what the other person does or says. Some individuals affected by these incidents will even blame themselves. Because emotional distress is a form of pain and suffering, it generally has a calculable amount as a damage owed to the victim in a civil suit.

Pain and Suffering

Even if the victim does not pursue a restraining order or an order of protection, he or she may still have sufficient evidence to progress through a lawsuit against the aggressor of domestic violence. The inflicted pain and suffering often includes other areas of torment such as psychological trauma, emotional distress and the prolonged period of suffering the person will sustain over the weeks, months or years. By exposing the matter to the courtroom, the victim may need to testify and provide details about the pain and suffering he or she encountered from the aggressor.

Calculating Damages

While the compensation possible should remain reasonable, it is generally possible to calculate damages owed through multiple ways based on the type and severity of the issue. Emotional distress or pain and suffering may require a better understanding of the domestic violence such as a full accounting and corroborating details that provide the dates, frequency and times of harm sustained. Emotional distress or psychological trauma often occur hand in hand and together from the very moment the aggressor begins a campaign of violence in the home. The base amount of compensation may run through a factor to multiply that number and obtain the amount in damages that the courts may grant. This is usually a minimum to a maximum.

In many cases, for emotional distress to remain true, the victim may need to file for divorce or complete a dissolution of the relationship before pursuing a civil claim against the aggressor. This gives merit that the victim of the violence understands what was wrong and is attempting to fix the issue. It may also support the claim further for the judge or jury panel in awareness of why compensation is necessary.

Legal Assistance in Emotional Distress for Domestic Violence

When pursuing a civil case against an aggressor that initiates domestic violence in the home, the victim usually needs a lawyer to present the case and help throughout with assistance and support. The legal professional may need to aid in garnering further details about the violence and explain what compensation is reasonable for the injuries.

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Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication at the time it was written. It is not intended to provide legal advice or suggest a guaranteed outcome as individual situations will differ and the law may have changed since publication. Readers considering legal action should consult with an experienced lawyer to understand current laws they may affect a case.

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