A victim of DV assault must file suit within three years after the later of the last act of domestic violence that gave rise to the cause of action, or the date plaintiff discovers or reasonably should have discovered that an injury or illness resulted from an act of domestic violence. [Pugliese v. Super.Ct. (Pugliese) (2007)]. Recovery is not limited to domestic violence occurring within 3–year limitations period so long as plaintiff shows continuing course of abusive conduct. Moreover, crime victims and their families who suffer unreimbursed pecuniary losses may receive assistance from the State Restitution Fund under a program administered by the California Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board. Pecuniary losses compensable under the program generally include medical expenses, mental health counseling expenses and loss of income. The State is subrogated to the rights of any victim who receives such assistance payments, up to the amount of the payments; and also has a lien, up to the amount of the payments, on any judgment, award or settlement obtained by, or on behalf of, the victim.
Evidence of plaintiff’s bills from medical care providers is of course relevant to show his or her expenses and that the alleged services were performed. But these bills will not alone support the medical claim since they do not reveal whether the charges were reasonable, whether they were for reasonably necessary medical attention to an injury-related condition, whether they were for treatment of a condition proximately caused by defendant, and whether the amount billed was actually paid or required to be paid [McAllister v. George (1977)]. The most effective way to support the medical expense claim is to elicit testimony from plaintiff’s own treating physicians. They can be questioned about the nature and extent of the injuries, the treatment and medication prescribed, the need for such treatment and medication, and the reasonableness of the charges. These physicians can also be used to lay the foundation for introduction into evidence of relevant medical bills and reports. Moreover, once plaintiff establishes a right to recover (i.e., burden met on issue of liability), the verdict must include compensation for whatever pain and suffering has been proved. The amount of such compensation is generally left to the “impartial conscience and judgment” of the trier of fact. But an award that fails to include any compensation for pain and suffering is inadequate as a matter of law. [Capelouto v. Kaiser Found. Hosps]. It would be best to seek personal assistance from a lawyer in order to help you with your personal injury claim.
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