In late June, a photographer walking his dog in downtown Los Angeles was brutally attacked by a violent homeless man, completely unprovoked. The man was struck with a piece of plywood with a nail attached, suffering a severe gash to his lip.
As it were, a bystander saw what was happening and used a flying kick to take down the assailant; the act was caught on camera. LAPD arrested the suspect shortly thereafter.
According to the Los Angeles Police Department, the evening attack resulted in hospitalization for the victim, identified only as Mikhail, who suffered a severe gash to his lip.
Elements of a Personal Injury Case
After a serious incident such as this, victims are usually entitled to receive financial compensation for their injuries through a personal injury case. However, several elements must first be proven:
- Duty of Care: First you must prove that the defendant owed you a duty of care. All pedestrians have a duty to act in a way that does not put other people at risk. A police report should be sufficient for proving this.
- Breach of Duty of Care: How did the defendant’s actions cause your injuries? In this example, the photographer was injured in an unprovoked attack. The homeless man’s negligent decision to attack constitutes a breach of duty of care. To prove a breach of duty of care, an attorney may use a police report, witness testimonies, and photographs and videos of the incident.
- You Suffered an Injury or Loss: You do not have grounds for a personal injury claim unless you suffered an injury or loss. There are three categories of damages that may be recoverable in personal injury claims: economic, non-economic, and punitive damages. This includes medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
If these elements are proven you may have a valid personal injury lawsuit or claim, but what happens when you’re dealing with a defendant that has no money or insurance, such as a homeless person?
Suing a Judgement Proof Defendant
If a defendant has no money and no insurance, it may seem like a lawsuit is not worth the time. However, it’s important for you and your attorney to perform due diligence as soon as possible. For example, a good background report can reveal whether the defendant has assets now or whether they did in the past. If the defendant unloaded property recently, this could be seen as the unfair, wholesale dissolution of assets, which is a good remedy against such defendants.
As soon as it becomes apparent that a defendant is attempting to dissipate their assets in anticipation of a civil lawsuit, your attorney should consider obtaining a preliminary injunction to prevent the defendant from rendering themselves judgment proof.
All avenues of liability ought to be explored however, such as potential employer liability or agency relationship, as well as potential negligence by the city or state.
Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer with Proven Results
After an accident, your main focus should be on recovering from your injuries. At the Law Offices of Jennie Levin, we have the experience and skills necessary to handle your personal injury case, no matter how complex it may seem. Attorney Levin has recovered millions of dollars for clients and is prepared to fight for you against tough insurance companies. If you need compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering, please contact our Los Angeles personal injury attorney today.
Call (323) 951-1188 or contact us online for a free confidential evaluation.