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Options for domestic violence victims: filing a lawsuit

When Georgians face emotional and physical abuse from their significant others, they may be unsure of their legal rights when it comes to domestic violence. Besides obtaining a restraining order, there are other options available. The abuser can face punishment in a criminal lawsuit as well as civil liability. Through a civil lawsuit, a victim can possibly recover financial compensation for physical injuries as well as emotional distress caused by the attacks. Read on to learn more about this option.

In the past, family members could not sue each other for personal injuries. This law was in place primarily to keep families intact. However, most states - including Georgia - now allow family members to sue each other because it's only fair to allow victims the opportunity to receive compensation for injuries.

Those injured by a family member may want to sue in order to regain control and ensure justice is served. A lawsuit can also provide a sense of closure. Those who suffer serious injuries at the hands of their attackers can receive compensation such as medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering. However, keep in mind that many cases go to court and litigation is costly. The victim must think about whether he or she has money to pay lawyer fees and if the abuser has the money to pay for damages in order to determine if the lawsuit is worthwhile.

A domestic violence lawsuit should be thoughtfully considered. A lawsuit comes with great emotional stress, especially when a person sues a family member. A victim should understand that filing a lawsuit against an abuser will no doubt strain their relationship for a long time - possibly forever. Those considering a lawsuit may want to discuss the pros and cons with a family law attorney.

Source: FindLaw, "Filing a Domestic Violence Lawsuit," accessed Feb. 15, 2015

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