So, I noticed this again, and gave it a try. I had Java this time, so it worked!
I went to the slums, some lowlives got up in my face (apparently) and then beat me up. So I ran away, licked my wounds, loaded up on painkillers and bandages, bought weapons and armor, marched back...
and proceeded to die in one punch.
I... I thought the bandages and painkillers would heal me...
Mwahahahaha! Just as planned!
Seriously, though, you can check your status through the party menu. Also, you need to take a lot
of painkillers and bandages. Or just rest at the tavern a lot.
Or you could just not take on a bunch of lowlives alone. But that wouldn't be fun in the Dwarf Fortress sense of the word. Also, one of them may have spawned with the maximum possible challenge rating. It's rare but it could happen. Mmmmmyes.