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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    3

    Default Victim of Assault with Deadly Weapon

    My question involves an injury that occurred in the state of: California

    First of all this is the first time I have posted on this forum and I hope that I am in the correct section. Thanks in advance for your help and advice.

    On 3/10/12 I was the victim of an assault with a deadly weapon:
    245 (A)(1)-PC-ADW:NOT FIREARM:GBI LIKELY (F)

    The injuries I incurred were as follows:
    -Two facial lacerations requiring stitches. (4 above left eye, 3 below left eye)
    -Three broken teeth
    -Fractured cheek bone not requiring surgery
    -Unconsciousness
    -Several minor cuts/bruises

    The incident: Approximately 1:00am 3/10/12
    I was on an amtrak train when I found myself in a verbal confrontation with two individuals. We were asked to depart the train at the next stop. After exiting the train I was assaulted by three individuals using skateboards. A witness saw the attackers standing over me unconscious on the ground, told them to stop, and called 911. Police and Ambulance arrived on scene. I was Transported to ER via ambulance for treatment. Police attempted to interview me on scene but I passed out mid-interview and was unresponsive to paramedics painful stimuli.

    The attackers were not found. The witness did not see the attack occur nor did he leave his contact information. Judging by the police report only his name is known.

    Police found a cell phone next to my body which is believed to have belonged to one of the attackers. The detective assigned to the case is looking into the cell phone for information as well as looking at surveillance video at the train station.

    Additional information:
    I was intoxicated at the time and my memory of the incident is almost non-existent. I don't recall getting off the train, or being in the ER.

    I do recall the beginning of the verbal argument and I do know exactly how to find one of the two individuals who were involved in that verbal confrontation. I do not know his name, nor could I describe much about him but I can identify him in a lineup without a doubt.

    I was told by the detective that is assigned to the case that due to my lack of memory it will be extremely hard to produce enough evidence to identify/prosecute any involved.

    I have incurred thousands of dollars in medical bills which were not covered by my insurance as well as thousands of dollars in lost wages due to my inability to work. I am more concerned with having my expenses reimbursed than anything else.

    I have never found myself in a situation like this before so ANY advice would be very appreciated.

    My questions:

    What kind of lawyer do I need to speak with? Personal injury?

    Do I need to hire an investigator? Is it worth the gamble?

    Do I have any other courses of action other than the aggressors?

    I know I have more questions but at this time in drawing a blank. Again, any advice would be a huge help.

    Thanks again
    ADWvictim

  2. #2

    Default Re: Victim of Assault with Deadly Weapon

    You're likely to face a couple of issues.

    First, even if you knew who the subjects were, and a personal injury attorney (yes, you had the correct type) successfully sued them for expenses related to your injuries, I'd have to imagine that skateboarders on AmTrak probably don't have the ability to pay any settlement, even if ordered to do so. Are you willing to chase them, potentially for years, put leins against assets they might accumulate, etc.? The winning of the judgement is the relatively easy part - it's the COLLECTING on a judgement that is the difficult, expensive, and time consuming part. Of course the individuals involved could all be rich kids with trust funds who take AmTrak for the "ambiance and adventure", and in that case, sure, pursuing them could be financially fruitful. However, I'm inclined to guess that even with a judgment in hand tomorrow, you'd be looking at years and lots of leg work before getting any meaningful money out of it. Finding out what you can about the suspects is the only real way to know if pursuing them individually is likely to be lucrative, or a waste of time and energy.

    Under normal circumstances, your state's Crime Victim Compensation Program could be a source of reimbursement for medical expenses related to being the victim of a crime. However, one of the stipulations for such compensation, in all 50 states, is that the victim must not have contributed to the incident. Given that there had been a verbal altercation while you were in a state of intoxication, I suspect that the application would be rubber stamped at that point in the narrative. Still, you've apparantly been cooperative with the police investigation (another requirement for qualification), so it can't hurt to at least apply.
    Catherine NeSmith
    Executive Director
    AARDVARC.org, Inc.
    http://www.aardvarc.org

    Fave Big Bang Theory site: Sheldon Cooper Fans

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Victim of Assault with Deadly Weapon

    Thanks for the quick response.

    I agree that pursuing the aggressors seems futile and not worth the time or money.

    Is there any circumstance where Amtrak would be held liable?

    I am in the process of filing a claim with the victim compensation program. Would me being intoxicated play a large role in me being beaten unconscious by three individuals? In the police report it appears that I attempted to run away from the confrontation if that makes any difference.

    Again thanks for the advice

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    14,699

    Default Re: Victim of Assault with Deadly Weapon

    Why would Amtrak be liable?

    Last time I checked, Amtrak does not promise personal safety f you get into an argument with people. Oh, I suppose you could argue that based upon your inebriated argument on the train they had a duty to have you arrested and that failure to have you arrested led to the assault. But, is that an argument you really want to try and make?

    A little money might be made available from the state's victim compensation fund to help with your medical bills. But, unless your attackers can be identified and successfully prosecuted, I doubt you have anyone you can sue for this.
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"


    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Victim of Assault with Deadly Weapon

    Maybe if similar instances have occurred at this particular train station?

    I know this not probable to say the least but I am just curious under what circumstances a lawsuit could be filed.

    Regarding identifying the attackers:
    If I know how to find one of them, how would I go about filing a claim against this person?
    When I spoke with the detective he seemed to think that it would be highly unlikely to form a criminal case against this person.

    Another thought I had was contacting the aggressor and trying to come to an agreement outside of court. Would this be legal? How unlikely would this be if I confronted the individual with the crime of which he should be tried for?

    Again I have never found myself in a circumstance anything like this so any advice or referrals would be much appreciated.

    Thanks again,
    ADWvictim

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    14,699

    Default Re: Victim of Assault with Deadly Weapon

    Quote Quoting adwvictim
    View Post
    Maybe if similar instances have occurred at this particular train station?
    That does not make them liable. After all, what would be a reasonable deterrence in your mind? Perhaps breath testing passengers so they cannot get on the train if they are impaired? Maybe, a security guard every 25'? How much would you be willing to pay for a totally secure platform?

    I know this not probable to say the least but I am just curious under what circumstances a lawsuit could be filed.
    Your attorney will have to identify some area of liability. But, if your attorney demands payment up front, perhaps you should reconsider trying to sue a company that has lawyers on staff.

    Regarding identifying the attackers:
    If I know how to find one of them, how would I go about filing a claim against this person?
    Having your attorney make a claim for damages and file the proper papers for a lawsuit if they deny the claim.

    When I spoke with the detective he seemed to think that it would be highly unlikely to form a criminal case against this person.
    Probably. Without any witnesses to say who did what to you, it may be hard to say with certainty who hit you.

    Another thought I had was contacting the aggressor and trying to come to an agreement outside of court. Would this be legal? How unlikely would this be if I confronted the individual with the crime of which he should be tried for?
    You cannot blackmail him. You can always make a claim against him demanding payment for your injuries AND file charges, but if you try to demand that he pays you or you will report him to the cops, that can be considered extortion.
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"


    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns

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