Assault and Battery
When most people think of personal injury cases, they’re likely to think of incidences where someone is unintentionally injured due to an accident or neglect. It often comes as a surprise to many who have fallen victim to assault and battery, that they just may have a legal right to compensation for their injuries. Under personal injury law, both descriptions of assault and battery show them to be intentional wrongs against a person that can form a base of a lawsuit against the wrongdoers.
Assault vs. Battery
Though many people believe they are acts that are interconnected, the law is very clear in defining the difference.
Any intentional act that is meant to cause “reasonable apprehension of imminent and harmful contact” is assault in the eyes of the law. Just the threat of personal harm is enough to warrant an assault charge in many states if the fear of harm was truly reasonable.
Battery is the act of one person making intentional and harmful or offensive contact with another person. Specifics of battery vary between states, but if direct or indirect harm comes to a victim as a result of the actions of the defendant, most state personal injury laws label such instances as battery.
Though many cases include both assault and battery charges, it is possible to have one without the other. In cases of assault, no actual physical injury had to occur for assault to have been committed.Because of these complications, it is imperative that you receive the advice and guidance of a personal injury attorney if you believe you are the victim of either assault or battery.
If you’ve been victim to either of these cases, you deserve to get the justice that is entitled to you. We can help navigate the legal process and obtain the best possible outcome for you. Contact our team to schedule your free consultation with a professional member of our team.
Assault & Battery FAQs
How Do I Prove That I Was Battered?
In order to prove battery, the victim must have proof of contact. As we mentioned above, there is no need to prove physical injury in a battery case. When there is no physical contact, but the victim has been threatened, the act comes under assault. Battery does not include body to body contact, and touching an object connected to the victim can warrant for a battery case. Battery can also be proven in the case of a contact where there is a delay between the contact and the defender’s act. For example, if you dig a pit with the intention of another person falling in it, it could be considered battery.
Who Is A Victim Of Assault?
If you have been threatened or injured by another person with the intention to harm, you are a victim of assault. The victim of an assault can be attacked by one or more people, and an assault may include multiple types of harm, like pushing, shoving, punching, and kicking.
How Do I Recover Damages As A Victim Of Assault and Battery?
In order to win a civil claim for assault and battery, you must be able to prove that the incident occured. While assault and battery tend to be grouped together, there are different circumstances in which a case should be considered assault or battery.
The standard for assault is:
- The defendant acted overtly or directly in a way that put the plaintiff in a state of reasonable apprehension for fear of their safety; and
- The defendant intended to put the plaintiff in a state of reasonable apprehension and fear for their safety.
The standard for battery cases is:
- The defendant intended to touch the plaintiff;
- The touching was offensive; and
- The defendant did not have consent from the victim.
What Kind Of Damages Am I Entitled To?
If you’ve been the victim of an assault and battery case, you may be owed a considerable amount of legal compensation. In most assault and battery cases, the victim can recover damages for compensatory damages and punitive damages. Let’s take a look at the differences between these two below.
- Compensatory Damages – The recovery for these damages includes compensation for immediate and future physical injuries. This may include mental distress, humiliation, embarrassment, and even pain.
- Punitive Damages – These damages cannot be recovered in all circumstances. These damages are strictly used in limited situations to punish the defendant for their egregious behavior.
What’s The Difference Between A Civil Case & A Criminal Case?
An assault and battery case can be categorized in two ways: as a civil case or a criminal case. In a civil case, the victim usually files a personal injury lawsuit against the attacker in order to recover the compensation for the damages they have suffered. A criminal case, however, occurs when the prosecutor files criminal assault or battery charges against the defendant.
As you can see, assault and battery cases can be extremely complicated. If you are the victim of assault or battery and you wish to file a claim in court, contact the professionals at Westphal Law Group in San Bernardino today. With more than 27 years of experience in the legal industry, we’re passionate about helping our clients receive the legal protection they deserve. We specialize in personal injury claims across San Bernardino, and we can help you receive the compensation you deserve. Whether you have been injured in an auto accident, construction accident, dog bite, motorcycle accident, police misconduct, or a trip and fall, our lawyers are ready and willing to help. Contact our personal injury law firm today to get the representation you deserve and need.