A recent rise in the number of stabbings widely reported in Philadelphia is leaving area residents wondering what’s going on in their city. The victims range in age from just 15 years old to 82. In just the past couple of months, sons have stabbed their pregnant mothers and an off-duty policeman was attacked with a knife during an attempted burglary. A recent study by the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania found that survival rates are the same for gun shot victims and individuals assaulted with a knife.
According to the FBI, in the years between 2000 and 2009, the average annual number of murders in the United States was hovered around 14,000. More than ten percent of the murder weapons were knives or other cutting instruments. So, knife use in violent crimes isn’t something new.
Recent Philadelphia Area Stabbings
Lately, however, the news has been filled with stabbings and knife attacks in Philadelphia and it seems to be a rising trend. In March and April of 2014, three men were stabbed in a Central City diner after an argument, seven men were arrested after stabbing three members of local high school team, and an off-duty policeman and a bartender were injured during an attack with a knife wielded by a single perpetrator.
All of these crime victims required medical care. Most victims of violent attacks with knives have to take at least some time off from work and many don’t survive. To receive compensation after injuries, victims have the right to pursue their case in the civil court system.
Since the recent stabbing spree at Pittsburgh’s Franklin Regional High School where two dozen students were injured, the news focus has been on stabbings in the nation. While recent news reports have focused on these bloody attacks, the unfortunate truth is that the number of knife attacks has remained fairly steady over the past decades and it is unlikely that the number of stabbing is substantially increasing at this time. However, the statistics at the end of the year will tell the full story.
After the Attack: What Can Victims Do?
After initial medical care, most victims are traumatized. Interviews with police and the criminal procedures are exhausting and bring the details of the crime constantly to the fore of consciousness. In the best possible scenario, the stabbing victim will survive and the perpetrator will be caught.
During criminal proceedings, the focus is on conviction. When an attacker is put behind bars, most victims feel intense relief and are able to get back on with their lives.
However, when physical and psychological injuries are severe, medical costs as well as lost wages may make it impossible for attack victims to get on with their lives. When the attack causes a fatality, surviving family members may be unable to pay their bills without the deceased family member’s income. In these cases, filing a civil case seeking civil may be the best choice.
Victim’s Restitution, Compensation, and Civil Damages
The courts may require that an attacker provide restitution to the stabbing victim after conviction. Restitution is ordered to cover the cost of medical care, lost wages, mental health therapy, and even crime scene clean up.
Compensation may be provided even when there is no arrest or conviction. Compensation must be applied for within a limited time frame after a knife or other violent attack.
Civil damages are awarded when someone wins a civil action suit- for more on civil case see here. Those damages may cover pain and suffering as well as other costs incurred as a result of the stab wounds.
In most recent cases, the stabbings have been sudden and unexpected by the victims and occur after a heated argument. Both victims as well as perpetrators come from many different occupations and can be either male or female. If you or someone you love has been attacked with a knife, contact us for help pursuing civil damages.