Can You Sue Your Spouse for Injuries Caused in a Domestic Abuse Situation in Philadelphia?
Philadelphia families are not immune to the problems of domestic abuse. The devastating effects of domestic abuse and violence ripple through entire families – often affecting more than the injured spouse. The Philadelphia criminal and family courts provide victims of domestic abuse protection and a means to prosecute abusers. Additionally, injured spouses can file personal injury claims against their spouse in civil court. Our experienced attorneys at the Reiff Law Firm provide will answer some questions and provide information regarding civil claims for domestic abuse.
What Constitutes Domestic Abuse in Philadelphia
Domestic abuse is a broad term encompassing a variety of conduct and behavior. At its core, domestic abuse in Philadelphia is when one family member physically or emotionally harms another family member, including a spouse, a child, or an individual sharing an intimate relationship. Some common behavior that constitutes domestic abuse include the following:
- Actual physical harm, such as kicking, hitting, slapping, or choking
- Unwanted sexual contact, including sexual assault and rape
- Intimidating a family with a threat of bodily injury or other emotional damage
- Mental and emotional abuse, including controlling a spouse’s behavior or openly and continually insulting them
- Purposefully humiliating another family member or spouse
- Limiting access to finances or other resources, such as bank accounts, credit cards, or the family vehicle
- Imposing restrictions on a spouse seeing friends, other family members, or their social network
Domestic abuse in Philadelphia occurs between people other than spouses. Victims of abuse could be in a dating or intimate relationship with their abuser. If you are in an abusive relationship, or if you believe you are, it is vital to contract law enforcement to protect yourself. Additionally, you should contact our Philadelphia domestic abuse attorney to review your legal options.
Domestic Abuse and Violence as Criminal Charges in Philadelphia
As stated above, domestic abuse is a broad term that includes a wide variety of conduct. There is no domestic violence or abuse criminal charge in Philadelphia. However, there are a number of separate criminal charges associated with domestic abuse. Some of the typical charges are listed below.
- Sexual assault
Victims of Domestic Abuse Have Options in Philadelphia
If you are the victim of domestic abuse in Philadelphia, you have options. Our law office can assist you in filing for a protection from abuse (PFA) order. Often, this is the first action taken to free yourself from abuse and can be helpful in divorce proceedings or a personal injury lawsuit. Filing criminal charges is also a recommended option. To provide victims of abuse a way to communicate with authorities or attorneys, the Address Confidentiality Program (ACP) offers victims legal addresses to use instead of their physical address.
You Can File a Personal Injury Lawsuit Against an Abusive Spouse in Philadelphia
It is not uncommon for victims of domestic abuse to feel trapped; without access to any available options. Our Philadelphia attorneys are there to provide assistance and information about your legal rights. In addition to filing for a protection from abuse order and criminal charges, you can file a personal injury lawsuit in civil court with a Philadelphia personal injury lawyer.
Often, victims of domestic abuse believe they lack the financial resources to escape a destructive relationship. A successful personal injury lawsuit could offer the monetary means to move forward. Another benefit of a civil claim is not as readily apparent. While filing criminal charges and a PFA could give you peace of mind, actively participating in a civil lawsuit provides a sense of purpose or empowerment. It is not uncommon for a victim of domestic abuse to feel a sense of justice and satisfaction while personally participating in the legal process.
Common Damages Available to Injured Victims of Domestic Abuse in Philadelphia
As with other personal injury lawsuits, victims of domestic abuse are entitled to compensation for medical expenses. However, there are different types of damages available in Philadelphia.
Economic damages are the easiest to calculate and understand. These are the costs and expenses directly related to any injuries you have suffered. For instance, as stated earlier, medical bills would be included in this category of damages. However, medical expenses might consist of more than you realize, including transportation to and from doctor appointments, medication costs, or the cost of ongoing therapy. In addition to medical expenses, economic damages also include lost income if you were unable to work and the cost to repair or replace any damaged personal property.
To be successful in a personal injury lawsuit based on domestic abuse, you do not have to suffer actual physical harm. Abuse is often emotional and mental. Fortunately, non-economic damages are available for this sort of harm. Our Philadelphia attorneys will use expert opinions, medical reports, and previous case law to value conditions such as pain and suffering, humiliation, loss of enjoyment of life, and emotional distress.
Call Our Philadelphia Domestic Abuse Attorney to Help Determine What Options and Recourse you Have if You are the Victim of Domestic Abuse
Domestic abuse is a serious matter. Our sympathetic attorneys for Injured Victims of Domestic Abuse understand the trauma associated with abuse by someone that was trusted and loved. Victims of domestic abuse must be fully aware of all of their legal rights and options. From filing for a PFA, pursuing criminal charges, or filing a personal injury lawsuit, our Philadelphia domestic abuse attorneys will assist and guide you through this difficult time. If you are the victim of domestic abuse, now is the time to take action to protect yourself and move forward. Call the Reiff Law Firm at (215) 246-9000 to schedule a free, confidential consultation.