Violent crimes harm the victim, both physically and mentally. Victims of domestic violence face the added suffering of being abused by a once trusted relation. Also, domestic abuse is not necessarily physical violence – many victims suffer extreme emotional distress. If you are a victim of domestic abuse, you should take immediate steps to protect yourself and pursue criminal charges. Furthermore, you are entitled to file a civil lawsuit for monetary compensation for any physical harm, expenses, and emotional distress you have suffered.
Our Maryland attorney for injured victims of domestic abuse are sympathetic to the physical pain and mental strain victims of abuse suffer. We are dedicated to providing professional representation to people who have suffered at the hands of close relations. If you are the victim of domestic abuse, call the Law Offices of Randolph Rice at (410) 694-7291 to schedule a free, confidential appointment.
Understanding Domestic Violence in Maryland
In Maryland, domestic abuse resides between family and criminal law. Domestic abuse only occurs between individuals who share a particular relationship. The Maryland Code of Family Law Section 4-501 requires establishing proof of abuse, such as assault, rape, stalking, or other conduct that result in harm, intimidation, or fear and demonstrating a specific relationship between the victim and their abuser.
- The individuals were or are married to one another
- The parties are living together
- The parties are related to one another, either through blood, marriage, or adoption
- The couple are parents to one or more children
- The parties are engaged in a physical relationship
There is no separate criminal offense in Maryland for domestic violence. When abuse occurs, the underlying conduct determines the charges and sentence. However, when the relationship between a victim and their abuser constitutes a domestic relationship, Maryland courts require the conviction to be labeled domestically related, typically resulting in additional legal consequences.
Civil Lawsuits for Victims of Domestic Abuse in Maryland
There are several legal steps and precautions a victim of domestic abuse should take. The first action you should take is to protect yourself and any loved ones that might also be in danger, including filing a restraining order and a police report. In addition to an eventual arrest and criminal prosecution, a victim of domestic abuse could find justice and compensation through a civil lawsuit.
In cases of domestic abuse, a victim can file a civil claim against their abuser based on an intentional tort, including assault or the infliction of emotional distress. Often, acts of domestic abuse are not limited to one specific incident but are on-going with cumulative harm and suffering. Actions that have a physical component and result in actual bodily injury also cause significant emotional suffering and fear associated with physical abuse. The harm a victim of domestic abuse sustains is more than mere bruises.
Our Maryland attorneys for domestic abuse will engage both medical and psychological expert testimony to help establish the amount and type of harm that was inflicted upon you. Using expert opinions, we will attempt to fully demonstrate the severe physical and mental damage that occurred because of the abuse.
Types of Domestic Abuse and Violence in Maryland that Victims Can Endure
While there is no criminal offense for domestic violence, there are a number of actions or conduct that can give rise to criminal charges as well as grounds for civil damages, including:
- Physical attacks, including hitting, punching, choking, kicking, or any conduct that results in bodily harm or injury
- Threats of physical violence or other means of intimidating a victim
- Physically or mentally isolating a victim from their family, friends, or social network
- Physiological or mental abuse
- Threats of violence or other conduct aimed at any existing children
- Physical destruction or theft of personal property
- Harassment, including stalking, online threats, or intimidating phone calls
- Purposefully denying necessary resources, such as access to bank accounts or use of credit cards
- Rape or any unwanted sexual or physical touching
Types of Damages Available in Maryland for Victims of Domestic Violence
There are several types of compensation that a victim of domestic abuse could recover in a personal injury lawsuit.
- Economic damages including, medical bills, the cost of on-going physical or psychological therapy, lost wages, relocation costs, and property damage
- Non-economic damage, including compensation for humiliation, emotional distress, mental harm associated with physical scars, and pain and suffering
- Punitive damages if the abuser acted in an unreasonably violent or malicious manner
In some instances, a jury or judge could award a victim of domestic abuse reasonable attorney fees and court costs.
Call Our Maryland Attorney for Injured Victims of Domestic Abuse for a Free, Confidential Consultation
Being the victim of physical violence or an emotional assault is a terrible experience. When the abuse is from a once trusted family member or a close relation, the pain and suffering is intensified. While it is imperative to pursue criminal charges and legal protection from an abuser, victims are also entitled to compensation through civil lawsuits. Our skilled and sympathetic attorneys have represented victims of domestic violence for over four decades and understand the emotional toll that the crime inflicts. Monetary compensation will not stop the suffering, but it can provide a realistic way to move forward. Let our experienced attorneys fight for your rights. Call the Law Offices of Randolph Rice at (410) 694-7291 to schedule a free, confidential appointment.