Legal Question in Criminal Law in California

My son suffered a massive stroke after being assaulted at a bar. Someone sucker punched him and now is fighting for his life. What are his rights legally. The police have a suspect.

Asked on 3/10/19, 9:11 am

2 Answers from Attorneys

Barney Gibbs Law Office of Barney B. Gibbs

Please call attorney Barney Gibbs at (714)838-9019.Thank you.

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Answered on 3/11/19, 7:45 am
Terry A. Nelson Nelson & Lawless

HIs rights are to have police and prosecutors pursue criminal charges, and he can pursue a civil lawsuit for damages, or if he does not survive, then his heirs/family could do so.

Now to the hard realities:

If the 'suspect' can be proven to be the one injuring your son, then there are grounds for a lawsuit for damages.

The person could be a 'viable' defendant, worth suing, if he has any potential assets or income that you would likely be able to collect a judgment against if you got one, or could be used pay a settlement, or if he has relatives or friends that would help and contribute for him. A cooperative prosecutor might be able to provide you some general info about that, without you having to hire a private investigator.

If the suspect has 'nothing', then unfortunately that is what you would be likely to recover from him. There is no likelihood the suspect would have any insurance that would cover 'criminal acts' because that would not be legal, but he 'might' have 'liability' insurance in some form, which needs to be investigated.

It is unlikely, since the suspect was at a bar, but if he was a minor at the time, his parents may have some liability for his actions.

It would be difficult to prove the bar liable, unless there is a sufficient record of similar criminal violence there that would make them 'specially' responsible for patron safety from such 'criminal acts', or if they knew this specific person had assaulted others there before. However, you can make a damages claim upon the bar and request their insurance carriers cover this under their liability insurance, you have nothing to lose by doing so.

Separate from that, you should be seeking insurance coverage from your own medical insurance, accident insurance, homeowners insurance, etc.

It may be wise to hire an attorney to help you in determine the answers to all those issues. Then if suit would be worth doing, he can represent you in it. Feel free to contact me to discuss.

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Answered on 3/11/19, 11:08 am

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