Initially, suing a spouse may seem outlandish. But, if you find yourself injured, abused or somehow wronged by a soon to be ex-spouse, a personal injury lawsuit, with the help of a personal injury lawyer Fort Lauderdale FL relies on, may be a viable route. The first thing to consider is whether the lawsuit will take place before or after the divorce is finalized. Another consideration is whether the lawsuit will be used within or separate from your divorce. The process and laws vary greatly depending on the status of the marriage. A lawyer can help you to decide what course of action would be best for your case. In the case that you are still married, you are able to sue your spouse, but the legal process can be complicated.
Marital Tort and Personal Injury
Historically, spouses were not legally able to sue one another because of what was called “interspousal tort immunity,” which considered spouses to be a single legal entity. Because it was feared that a lawsuit could potentially destroy a marriage, the law was in place to protect the sanctity of marriage. Interspousal immunity was abolished, partly under the assumption that the event leading to a lawsuit has already disrupted the marriage.
Today, you are able to bring a civil lawsuit against a spouse for both intentional and negligent torts. This is an especially common course of action in the event of divorce. Marital torts include, but are not limited to physical assault and battery, emotional distress, privacy invasion and the transmission of a sexual disease, and are subject to penalties and compensation in a lawsuit. In the case of a personal injury lawsuit
Assault and battery are among the most common marital torts. If you have been subject to intentional injuries by your spouse, you are able to bring a personal injury case against them that may result in compensation for the damages. Proving physical abuse in the courts is crucial to winning the case, so be sure to provide any and all evidence you have of the claimed abuse and injuries.
Emotional and Mental Suffering
Emotional and mental suffering may result from an abusive spouse. If severe enough, you may be able to file a person injury lawsuit holding them liable for the damages. Unfortunately, though emotional distress may be as severe as physical abuse, it is significantly harder to prove in court. Most of what you have at your disposal is a testimony of your mental anguish and the abuse that caused it. You should still attempt to present any other evidence that might exist. For example, if you seek medical treatment for your psychological state, medical documents can be a powerful tool for your case. Hiring an expert to testify on behalf of your conditions can be very helpful as well.
Hiring a Lawyer
The timing of your lawsuit should depend largely on the case itself, the terms of your divorce and the laws in your state. Combing the divorce and personal injury lawsuit could make the legal process easier, especially if monetary compensation is involved. In addition, it may be necessary to file a personal injury case before a divorce is finalized.
Each case is unique and involves the complexities of both marriage and personal injuries, so it’s important to take proper action for your given circumstances. Before taking any legal action against a spouse or signing divorce papers, reach out to a skilled personal injury or family law lawyer. They can offer the necessary legal counsel and guidance needed to navigate your specific case.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Needle & Ellenberg, P.C. for their insight into personal injury cases.