In most personal injury claims, the injuries sustained by the victim are accidental and caused by negligence. Unfortunately, with assault and battery personal injury claims, the damages sustained are no accident. These conflicts stem from an intentional act of harming someone without their consent.
Assault and battery personal injury claims are very serious and often mean that the victim has experienced serious physical and/or emotional pain as a result. A personal injury claim is a small way we can help remedy that pain and give victims the opportunity to recover from these traumatic experiences. A victim can file a claim against the attacker for intentionally inflicting the harm of battery, assault, or both.
Defining the Terms
Let’s take a look at the legal definitions of assault, apprehension, and battery before we discuss the possibility, process, risks of filing a personal injury claim.
What is Assault?
The term assault is legally defined as an intentional threat of violence or an attempt to commit violence against another. These verbal or physical threats must be intentionally made by the attacker and must cause the victim to feel apprehension or fear of imminent or harmful contact. Examples of this would be:
- Jim verbally threatens Ryan with a weapon in hand.
- Jim swings a bat at Ryan to scare him, barely missing him.
- Jim points an unloaded gun at Ryan.
Note that the term assault is simply the threat of violence. Assault can occur without the victim being pushed, punched, or any other kind of physical altercation.
What is Apprehension?
In order for an attacker’s actions to be considered an assault, the victim must acknowledge feelings of apprehension. These concerns must be more than just fear of the attacker hitting or making contact. It must be a reasonable belief that an attack is imminent unless the plaintiff takes evasive action. It may include knowledge, perception, belief, anxiety, fear, and more, but the apprehension must be reasonable.
What is Battery?
Battery is the intentional act of physical contact that does harm or damage to the victim without their consent. An individual that is pushed, hit, or physically violated in any other fashion can sue their attacker for battery. There are different ways this violation can occur. The attack can be felt:
- Directly and immediately (Jim punches or pushes Ryan).
- Indirectly and immediately (Jim purposefully throws a rock and hits Ryan).
- Indirectly and remotely (Jim sets a trap that hurts Ryan).
The two intentional torts of assault and battery are often combined because they normally occur in succession. However, the two offenses are not required simultaneously to consider pursuing an injury claim.
Personal Injury Damages from Assault and Battery
Assault and battery offenses are serious. Determining how serious the intentional acts are will determine the probable success of your lawsuit and the damages you can claim.
In most cases, it is wise to pursue a personal injury claim when your damages require hospitalization or extensive medical attention. The final expense of these medical services can become significant and overwhelming, so a personal injury claim can be the best way to get financial compensation. One of our trained personal injury attorneys can walk you through the steps of filing a claim and inform you of how a reliable attorney can assist with the filing process during this difficult time.
Personal Injury Claim Versus a Criminal Case
Assault and battery are also recognized across other legal fields. Depending on your state’s laws and the severity of the offense, these crimes can be punishable by fines, incarceration, or both. Thankfully, you can pursue justice on both fronts. You can file against the attacker in civil court with the help of a personal injury attorney and you can file with your local district attorney for criminal prosecution.
If your assault and battery are not severe enough to warrant a personal injury claim, these actions still may be viewed as criminal. Justice for your mistreatment can be sought by a local district attorney as criminal prosecution.
Defenses That Can Discredit a Claim
Unfortunately, there are a number of scenarios that would disqualify a victim from pursuing a personal injury claim. These disqualifications are based upon legal excuses the attacker could use to validate their actions and destroy your claim.
- Consent: If the victim acknowledges the possibility of injury or pain and agreed to the event, then they will have a difficult time winning the claim. In scenarios like contact sports, recreational activities, and other dangerous scenarios, participants must consent to certain physical contact. If they were injured in one of these situations, their claim is invalid.
- Defense of Self or Others: If the individual accused of assault and/or battery did so inappropriate, reasonable response to another threat of harm to themselves or others, the lawsuit is discredited.
- Privilege: Police officers are normally indicated in these scenarios. Because they are often required to use force when making an arrest, physical harm can come about as a result. If the officer was operating with an appropriate amount of force in the given situation, a lawsuit against the officer is discredited.
Contact Russell and Hill, PLLC Personal Injury Attorneys
If you would like to pursue financial compensation for your injuries with a personal injury claim, you don’t have to do it alone. At Russell and Hill, PLLC, our attorneys are specifically trained in personal injury law and can help you navigate the field during this painful and difficult time.
With our vast network of doctors and experts, we can help you collect evidence, negotiate with insurance companies, manage to pay medical bills and prepare your claim. We are even willing and able to take your claim to court if the insurance company is disagreeable. However, it is important to note that in most cases of intentional torts, such as with the torts of Assault and Battery, no insurance is available to cover your damages and your compensation will have to come directly from the wrongdoer.
The experiences that you or a loved one may have with assault and battery are painful and serious. Let us help you find recovery by assisting you as you consider a personal injury claim. For more information, contact Russell and Hill, PLLC today by giving us a call at 888-399-0921 or by filling out our contact form.