The majority of personal injury claims are based on accidental incidents like car crashes for example; however, some cases are filed for intentional incidents in which the actions that resulted in personal injury were purposeful. While assault and battery are criminal charges, civil lawsuits can also be filed in such cases, allowing the victim to potentially recover compensation for injuries and the other damages that resulted from the incident.
Assault and battery need not result in extensive, lasting or even minor physical injury in order to be actionable under personal injury law. In fact, a victim need only be threatened with imminent harm in order for an assault claim to be filed in most jurisdictions. Additionally, battery doesn’t have to cause physical harm. Any intentional action that is meant to cause harm and involves physical contact can be considered battery under the law.
All this being said, the most successful assault and battery claims involve apparent physical injuries. Likewise, those assault and battery incidents in which the victim suffers physical and emotional injuries are the most crucial for victims. The financial and personal hardships caused by an assault and battery incident can be extensive. The medical costs, loss of earnings and other damages associated with being victimized often leaves no other recourse than to seek compensation for damages.
Of course, holding an assailant responsible for his or her actions and seeking justice is always important to victims as well. Criminal charges are intended to do just that, but even in those assault and battery cases where criminal charges fall through, civil actions can still be filed under personal injury law, potentially giving victims at least some measure of justice.
Proving your Assault and Battery Personal Injury Claim
In any personal injury lawsuit, you must be able to prove your case. The most critical piece of documentation in any assault and battery personal injury claim is the incident and/or arrest report from local authorities. It’s therefore critical that you report the incident to the police as soon as possible. In some cases, particularly those in which there were no witnesses to the incident, criminal charges may not be filed. Even if this is the case in your personal injury claim, you can still utilize police reports in your civil case.
Medical records are also a key piece of legal documentation in proving an assault and battery claim. If you suffered physical injuries as a result of the incident, medical attention must be sought immediately. Medical bills for treating your injuries as well as surgeries, medications and other ongoing and/or follow up treatments required can also be included in your claim.
Damages sought in an assault and battery claim can also include physical therapy, personal care assistance, and any other medical-related expenses incurred as a result of your injuries. Loss of wages from your inability to work due to your injuries or lost time on the job that comes from seeking medical care may also be included in your claim.
Most successful assault and battery claims include eye witness testimony that can prove you were in fact the victim and not a party to the incident that resulted in your injuries. In other words, eye witnesses that are able to attest that you did not start a physical altercation or otherwise play a primary role in the incident are also important. This is because the most common defense against assault and battery claims is to draw the plaintiff or victim into question by implicating them in the incident.
Your Assault and Battery Personal Injury Case
The definitions of assault and battery can vary somewhat from one jurisdiction to another. The damages that can be sought in a personal injury claim can as well. The extent of the injuries you suffered affect the monetary damages you may be able to recover, but you must be able to prove damages in order to hold your assailant liable under the law.
Hiring an assault and battery personal injury attorney in your home jurisdiction is advisable. Your lawyer will be capable of providing you guidance in the case, representing you in court, and ensuring evidentiary requirements are met for proving your claim.