Windsor is home to over 200,000 people. Most of us think of “home” as a familiar routine of work, family, school and socializing, but for some, the “home” that is Windsor has become a setting for assault related injury. Windsor’s active drinking culture may play a role in rising statistics, as many reported assault related injuries stem from alcohol-induced bar brawls, drunken altercations on campus, or fights at house parties. Regardless of the state of one’s attacker, victims of assault are often left with serious personal injury and have the right to pursue legal action.
Assault related injuries are not limited to bruises and broken bones; they include symptoms of emotional damage and distress that often follow incidents of violent assault. These psychological consequences can have financial repercussions as well, as many victims require professional therapy or counseling to address the residual mental impact of an attack.
Notable recent assault cases that have resulted in injury range from downtown bar fights to sexual assaults on the University of Windsor campus. To reference a few:
- A 31-year-old man was accosted outside a bar during early morning hours. The resulting brain injury from a punch to the head left the victim with paranoia, damaged memory, difficulty sleeping, dizzy spells, and severe headaches. A personal injury claim was made, and the victim ultimately received over $17,000 in reparations.
- A mother of four in Mayfair reported an assault by an unknown man in her backyard.
- Two women, in separate incidents, were sexually assaulted in public bathrooms by a Windsor Spitfires hockey player.
- A 13-year-old boy was walking near his Windsor home when he suffered an assault by a man armed with a hammer, who struck him on the head from behind and made successive attempts to hit him again.
- A 40-year-old man, in trying to intervene in an argument, was stabbed in the shoulder by two Windsor residents who have criminal records.
- A man celebrating his birthday at another downtown club was chased down an alley by a group of men and thrown down a set of stairs. He filed a lawsuit based on his resulting injuries and ultimately received $7,000 in compensation.
In Oct 2014, Macleans reported that almost one in five young women will be sexually assaulted as students; although this is likely a conservative estimate as sexual assault rates are generally thought to be significantly unreported. In 2010, the University of Windsor sponsored a program called ‘the Bystander Initiative’ which provides workshops on rape prevention. The problem of sexual assault is not unique to the University of Windsor; it is problematic at universities and colleges throughout Canada, where typically, schools make it difficult for victims to report sexual assaults and seemingly, attempt to keep the assault statistics from the public.
Whether a result of a car accident, slip and fall, or assault, personal injury refers to any harm to the physical body as well as to one’s mental and emotional states. Assault, an act that is violent in nature, affects all three aspects of a person. While a victim of assault may suffer only minor physical injuries, the emotional and mental trauma of the event—often manifesting in paranoia, depression, fear, anger, or shame—can be lifelong and affect one’s performance at work, at school, or in interpersonal relationships. Tragically, feelings of isolation, embarrassment, or self-blame too often discourage victims from reporting the crimes committed against them.
If you have suffered an assault, the lawyers at Injury Lawyers of Ontario (ILO) urge you to pursue legal action, not only for monetary reparations, but also for the sake of your mental well-being. The timely reporting of these extremely sensitive cases allows for the collection of better evidence and improves the victim’s ability to pursue personal injury compensation.
The lawyers at ILO are all too familiar with the delicacy of such cases and the suffering endured by victims. As such, we are committed to creating a safe environment for Windsor’s victims to bring their cases forward so that they can receive the reparations they deserve. We are aware that monetary compensation is but a small piece of a very painful and long-lasting puzzle; as such, we encourage those injured due to incidences of assault to seek ongoing assistance. In the meantime, injured persons can allow our experienced and expert lawyers to navigate the complicated and frustrating realm of legal technicalities so that they may reach a resolution without adding to their existing pain and suffering. Victims of assault are not responsible for the attacks, nor for their resultant injuries. As such, we at ILO believe no one should have to continue to suffer from assault related injuries without just compensation.