Question: Can I file for any claim if I have been injured in a fight at a bar a year ago?

Question Detail: I was hit and knocked unconscious at a bar a year ago by a civilian during my Marine Corps Ball. I didn't initiate the fight and I had nothing to do with it. A fight broke out and a guy hit me and I fell unconscious. I had to go to the emergency room afterwards to check up my nose. It wasn't broken but was swollen for weeks and I had to pay out-of-pocket for the medical bills. Can this be filed to get my money back from the bills?

Answer: I won’t say your question is crystal clear about your military status so take this legal discussion with a grain of salt. If you were active and on military property I’m not sure where or when you would be able to file suit. If you were a civilian at the time and on non-government property then I can attempt to answer your questions. In Iowa you could have a couple of options. You could send him a letter asking him to pay your out-of-pocket expense. At that point he either does or doesn’t pay. And if he pays, then the matter is resolved. If not then you could sue him in small claim court and be limited to $5000 in damages. Or you could sue him in district court with no limit on the amount of damages.

A normal statute of limitations is two years from the date of the fight. There are some exceptions having to do with mental disability, which do not appear to apply to your situation. 

Steve Lombardi
Iowa personal injury, workers' compensation, motorcycle, quadriplegic, paraplegic, brain injury, death
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