Civil & Sexual Assault Lawyers
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Civil and Sexual Assault Lawyers in Melbourne Victoria
What is regarded as an assault?
An assault is any unlawful action by one person against another person. Assaults can be physical, psychological or sexual in nature. If an alleged assault is proven, the person who committed the assault may be criminally prosecuted.
The victim of an assault may also make a civil compensation claim against the person or institution responsible for the assault. This may or may not be associated with a criminal prosecution.
Types of assault
While assaults vary in nature, they must involve some form of harm against the victim. A threat of violence may constitute an assault if it leads to psychological or physical harm. Non-consensual sexual contact is also considered an assault and may be a criminal act (such as sexual molestation). Inappropriate sexual conduct or contact with a child is sexual assault.
What to do if assaulted
If you have been assaulted, you need to inform the police as soon as you can and give details of the incident or incidents. If you have been taken to hospital because of the injuries caused by the assault, the hospital will notify the police. They will almost always send a police officer to the hospital to interview you and take details of the assault.
Making a claim for compensation
Compensation claims rely upon the provision of evidence. Therefore, the amount of evidence that you can provide is important. For example, obtaining photographic evidence of your assault may assist the success of your claim. Medical records will also substantiate any physical or psychological harm you have experienced.
You may apply for civil compensation even if a criminal prosecution has not gone ahead. A criminal prosecution may not proceed for several reasons which do not affect your right to make a civil compensation claim.
A civil claim can be made through the Victims of Crime fund, by claiming directly against the perpetrator or possibly an institution which employed the perpetrator.
If a criminal prosecution results in a conviction a claim can be made directly against the perpetrator at the time of the prosecution or within 12 months of the conviction. This will be assessed based on the convicted person’s capacity to pay compensation.
How a civil assault lawyer can help you
It is difficult to assess the amount of compensation that a victim should be awarded, especially if psychological harm has taken place. The judge will examine the available evidence to determine the severity of the harm that you have experienced and the impact of the assault on your life. It is always advisable to seek legal advice if you are the victim of an assault. Our civil assault lawyers at Lennon Mazzeo Lawyers are highly experienced in helping assault victims navigate the legal system, and will provide sensitive and timely advice on how to proceed with an assault claim.
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