Sadly, if you look back at the Oklahoma bombing of the Murrah federal building by Timothy McVeigh and, more recently, the shooting in Las Vegas, Nevada, by Stephen Paddock, it is a stark reminder that domestic terrorism is a real threat in the United States. If you were the victim of such an incident, it is essential to know your legal rights.
For starters, as the victim of domestic terrorism, you can take the abuser to court by filing a civil suit. These acts result in not only criminal liability but also civil liability through tort law. That means that if you sustained an injury in some way, you have a legal remedy. Therefore, if the abuser is alive, you can file a case of domestic terrorism against that individual.
However, if the abuser is deceased, as is the situation with the Las Vegas shooter, you can join an action to fight for some of that person’s assets, if there are any. In a case where there are no assets, you can take advantage of a victim compensation program, something that every state has. With that, you get help covering medical expenses, among others. One critical note is that you cannot receive compensation from this program until exhausting different methods of reimbursement, including health insurance, life insurance, and so on.
Also, just because the abuser has died and has few to no assets, this does not mean there is no money available for a lawsuit. For instance, if that individual had insurance, there is a chance that you could sue for some or all of the payout. Because there are a lot of variances involved, it is imperative that you hire a reputable attorney to help sort through everything.
As the victim of domestic terrorism, you likely feel as though you have lost some degree of control. While you may never fully recover from your ordeal, filing a lawsuit against the abuser or the abuser’s estate can help make you feel relatively whole again. As part of that, you can go after money for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and, in some states, punitive damages.
You have every right to sue an abuser in a domestic terrorist situation, but be sure to get mentally prepared. After all, this process is also stressful. Especially when you consider that you might have to come face to face with the very person who caused you harm, it is often taxing. That is another reason for hiring the right attorney. Along with legal support, you will have some degree of emotional support as you make your way through the process
Just remember, you are not alone. In addition to victims’ advocates, you have prosecutors doing their jobs in pursuit of justice on your behalf. Even so, a criminal prosecution is not enough considering what you endured. With a qualified attorney in your corner, regardless of which legal action gets taken, you can get compensation and once again establish a life of independence.