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I'm a victim of assault, am I owed compensation in Pennsylvania?

Imagine you are driving on one of the many major freeways in Philadelphia during heavy traffic. You're trying to watch out for other vehicles when suddenly you collide with another motorist who was just zipping around cars in a rather reckless manner.

You and the other driver pull over. But before you can exchange insurance information, the other driver aggressively starts blaming you for the accident. The situation quickly escalates; and before you know it, the other driver starts hitting you violently. You suffer serious injuries because of this assault and now want to know if the other driver owes you compensation.

Though situations of road rage don't always end in physical violence like the scenario above, there is still the possibility that they can. Victims of assault are often comforted by the fact that criminal charges are often levied against their attackers. But what about the injuries they suffer? What about the medical bills they incur because of the incident? Should the victim really have to pay for this injustice?

The answer is no here in Pennsylvania thanks to our tort laws, which allow victims of violent crimes to seek compensation for physical and mental injuries suffered at the hands of another person. Our state laws recognize the importance of holding an attacker responsible for their actions, especially if they have caused another person to suffer significant damage.

It's an intimidating thought to confront your attacker, though, and request compensation. You might have concerns about what they will do to you after taking civil action or if they will even pay you the compensation you are owed. These fears are natural, but know that you do have the right to compensation in Pennsylvania and a practiced attorney can help you get it.

Source: The National Crime Victim Bar Association, "Civil Justice for Victims of Crime in Pennsylvania," Copyright 2012, Accessed Oct. 30, 2015

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