Q: I was raped and the man is about to go to trial. Can I sue him in civil court for my medical damages?
A: I am sorry for your experience.
Yes you can sue civilly and you can also seek recovery under the Crime Victims Act (CVA). Ask the district attorney's office in the county where the case is being prosecuted about recovery under the CVA. I think you can recover up to $50,000. Good luck to you.
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A: This is a prime area of legal practice right now. The problem is, usually the person who committed the offense has few, if any, assets to recover if you get a civil judgment. If you have any idea of the person's financial situation that will be very helpful to know in evaluating whether such a suit would be warranted.
A: If you win a hundred million dollar judgment against a homeless person you won't actually collect a cent. Any criminal defendant facing 2 to 20 years in the state penitentiary SHOULD liquidate assets to pay for the best defense possible, which means there wouldn't be much left for you to recover in a civil lawsuit. Also, if he is sent to the prison it will be difficult (impossible) to earn any additional money to satisfy a civil judgement. Basically, if a man has any assets remaining after a trial on rape charges then he is either:
1. Wealthy, or ...
2. Confident that he will be acquitted at trial, or ...
3. Foolish for NOT putting everything into his defense.
Many criminals make profoundly foolish decisions... and that's why they are criminals.
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