Can my 17 yr old file a Civil Suit for Personal Injury?

I have tried contacting lawyers to help my 17 yr old son file a civil suit against a 19 yr old. But no lawyer wants to help because they do not think "They will get anything out of it" The 19 yr old was charged with a felony assult and battery "1st strike". This creep outta the blue ran up on my son when my son was talking to another student and ran full force and punched him in the right side of the face, causing my sons cheek to shatter, my son had 3 plates placed in his face and still suffers from head achs and neausa. I know this kid may or may not have money, but for me it is the principle of the matter my son is damaged for life..my question is can we file a civil suit without a lawyer and be successful, if we have all our medical reports and the fact that the kid admitted he just it my son for the hell of it?

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  • 1 decade ago
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    Yes with that information you could be successful in a small claims court only, and it is sometimes hard to get any money for pain and suffering from these courts and many of them have limited amounts you can sue for, usually anywhere from $5,000 to $7,000 limitations.

    If the damages are more than the amounts that small claims courts are allowed to award, you may file a perse (suit meaning that you are representing yourself) To be successful on a claim like this against an attorney you first need to learn the rules of filing the lawsuit and how to write your plea (usually you can find help with forms on line); you will need to list the charges or damages you seek; you will need to prove without that he admitted he hit him for the hell of it which will require police reports, witnesses to the scene the further removed from your son the better (ie strangers are better witnesses than friends are), if the other person has been tried or pleaded guilty to a lesser count that would be your lotto ticket so to speak. If he was found guilty in a court of law of assault or battery in this case, it has been proven in a court of law that this person did attack your son, there is no way a civil court will not side with you, except if you get too greedy. If you go beyond the small claims court you will need to read the process and procedures for court action, when, how, etc to serve notice that he is being sued; beyond all else you will need to know the rules of the court system as to what is allowed to be admitted into court, what is a leading question, can you treat him as a hostile witness and force him to answer yes and no questions without being able to explain himself, along with a whole lot of other stuff.

    After having enough evidence that he was attacked, the question becomes how much money do you sue for?

    First total up all medical expenses that were spent on his recovery and an estimate of how much further medical care and it's costs that is going to be needed in the future, as he may be uninsurable in the future do to this.

    Usually one usually expects that the medical expenses x 3 (for punitive damages).

    The reason the attorneys thing you'll never get anything out of it is because of the person who assaulted you. If you ask for 100,000 of dollars he will just have to go bankrupt proving he could never repay the money because I'm willing to believe he is a low life and will never run into that kind of money. If you go this route you'll have to ask for a limited amount of money that it is hard for this person to argue that he could never pay that amount back. For example $20,000 isn't too outrageous to expect payment on as most new cars are sold for more than that, although you have to be careful because at best you will get a judgement on record against the person and can garnish his wages in some states after more court action.

    If you go to small claims court you will prevail if you have all the information stated, especially if he pleads guilty or no contest, then it is a slam dunk. You might only get out of pocket expenses if you have insurance, you may be able to claim for future procedures and medical care, and if you are lucky you will be awarded punitive damages upto the total amount your jurisdiction will award in a small claims court.

    The same process works in each court a judgement is placed against him, if he fails to pay within a reasonable time and you know where he works you may go to court to garnish his pay to enforce the court judgement (again it depends upon jurisdictions.)

    Source(s): ex-paralegal
  • 1 decade ago

    Your first answer is incorrect. Based on the injuries, this does not sound like a small claim. Lawyers do practice in small claims court.

    The perp may live with parents who have homeowners' insurance. There may be money to go after.

    Try calling the county bar association in the county where you live.

    Try contacting www.handelonthelaw.com for a referral.

    (Try finding an attorney with principles! They don't exist)

    Source(s): Retired claims adjuster.
  • 1 decade ago

    I would try small claims court to get the medical bills paid. The state I live in does not allow lawyers in small claims court, but I think some states do.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    1) You can file in small claims. Since he is a minor you file the suit.

    2) If he has no money, what is the point.

    No lawyers allowed in small claims.

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  • 1 decade ago

    You can file on behalf of your son. It would be so and so, on behalf of minor child, so and so.

    You don't want to do it without a lawyer though. Keep contacting personal injury attorneys. Someone is bound to take it.

  • wizjp
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    YOu can; but odds are it'll cost thousands in legal bills and not much chance any of it will ever be recovered. Your best remedy is thru the police.

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