Understanding Your Rights: Domestic Violence and Civil Liability FAQs

At The Law Office of J. Michael Clay, we understand the complexities and personal nature of domestic violence. Our aim is to empower you with the information you need to take legal action against your abuser. If you or someone you know is struggling with a situation involving domestic violence, please know that we offer free consultations to help you understand your legal options.

Should you have any further questions or require legal assistance, do not hesitate to call us at 210-694-5205.

Is It Possible to File a Civil Lawsuit for Domestic Violence Injuries?

Yes, it can be possible. When an individual causes harm to another, this action is categorized as a “tort”—a legal term for a personal injury caused by civil, rather than criminal, wrongdoing. While domestic violence can involve both criminal and civil repercussions for the perpetrator, victims may seek compensation for their injuries through civil litigation. An illustrative case of a civil suit, separate from a criminal trial, is Goldman v. Simpson, where the victim’s family successfully pursued financial damages in civil court following an acquittal in the criminal case.

Traditionally, the law discouraged lawsuits between family members, fearing such actions could erode familial bonds. Nonetheless, as many jurisdictions now acknowledge that tortious acts themselves signify deteriorating family relationships, these legal barriers have largely been removed. Today, spouses are often permitted to file suits against each other, whether they remain married or have separated, in numerous states.

In some locations, however, family members are still generally restricted from suing one another, except in cases where the act is deemed intentional—and therefore a deliberate choice to cause harm. Most forms of domestic violence, including assault, battery, and psychological abuse, are categorized as intentional torts. If you are dealing with such intentional acts of harm, The Law Office of J. Michael Clay is prepared to support you in understanding and navigating your legal rights and options.

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