Victims of violent crimes including assault and battery are entitled to monetary compensation for the injuries they have suffered. The information below is proved as a guide to help such individuals get answers to common legal questions regarding their injury claim. If you have sustained severe injuries due to the violent intentional acts of other individuals and have any further legal questions contact our Personal Injury Law Firm. All consultations with our lawyers are completely free of charge.
Legal Definition of an Assault: Under Common Law is defined as an “apprehension” of a physical impact. In such cases it is not required that you actually suffer any type of contact, but rather suffer the fear of the physical impact. Assault usually involves three elements.
- Intentional or unlawful threat to cause injury or harm to another person by means of force
- The situation at the time of the threat created a fear (apprehension) of actual harm
- Defendant has the ability at the time to carry out the threatened harm
Legal Definition of Battery: Under Common Laws battery is defined as the actual physical contact, where there is some type of physical impact to the victim.
While such harms are generally covered under criminal proceedings, many victims are also entitled to recovery for their injuries. Civil compromises or civil proceedings in order to recover for your injuries including medical bills, pain and suffering and loss of earnings are possible. It is not necessary that you are successful in your criminal case, though it can help with your recovery it is not required that criminal charges be successful.
What Should I Do – Steps to Take After a Physical Attack
- Contact the police department and press charges on the individual who attacked you.
- Seek medical attention for your injuries: Contact 911 and have an ambulance transport you to the nearest medical facility.
- Gather evidence if possible: Get your hand on the name and contact information of the person who attacked you.
- If possible file an incident report with the property manager or security where the act of violence took place.
- If there are witnesses ask for their contact information.
- Do not speak with any individual representing the defendant or insurance regarding the incident. Any contact you make with them can and will be used against you.
- Seek legal help from an experienced personal injury attorney.
Statute of Limitations for Assault and Battery Civil Claims: In the state of California a injured victim has two years from the date the intentional or negligent act to file a civil claim against an at fault party in the court of law. For claim against government entities a claim must be filed with the agency in question within six months of the date of the incident. Failure to file a claim in time can eliminate a victims eight to recovery under the law. More information in time limits to file a civil claim for assault or battery see here.
Places and Situations where Assault and Battery Incidents Take Place: The most common incidents which lead to Assault and battery claim are as follows
- Bar Night club fights including being hit in the back or neck by beer bottles
- Security Guard overuse of force including punching, holding against will,
- School Yard fights
- Police Brutality including the use of nightstick batons
- Sexual Assault
- Post Auto Accident fights
- Hooligan Fighting at sport arenas and sporting events
- Concert fights
Can I Recover for Assault and Battery?
Assault and battery is generally categorized as a criminal offense, however victims are entitled to recovery when they are attacked or suffer harm. Injuries can include any both physical and emotional as well as recovery for loss of work.
Assault and Battery Recovery – Punitive Damages
Under our legal system victims of personal injury due to the criminal or reckless actions of others may be entitled to punitive damage recovery. The purpose of punitive damages is to monetarily penalize to such an extent so that the at fault party will refrain from partaking in such action in the future. Historically punitive damage compensation was not limited; so theoretically a victim could be awarded unlimited amount of compensation vial a punitive damage claim. Under heavy pressure from corporations and business leaders, restrictions on punitive damages were instituted by various courts staring in the 1980’s. The United States Supreme Court has reiterated a punitive damages compensation cap at no more than 10 times the actual damages in numerous court decisions. California courts have followed 10 times actual damage cap on punitive damage compensation as well. This of course does not mean that every case where punitive damages are awarded will result in the victim receiving 10 times the actual damages suffered. The “appropriate” amount for punitive damages in civil injury cases is predicated on several factors.
- Whether the harm suffered was physical rather than economic in nature.
- The reprehensibility of the action. This is where the facts of the assault and battery come into palace. The age of the victim versus the at defendant; for example if the victim was an elderly person, or was a minor. The sex of the victim; for example if the victim was a female and the criminal actor was a male. The vulnerability and susceptibility of the victim to serious injuries.
Establishing Fault for Assault and Battery – Premises Liability Claims: In some instances real estate owners may be held liable for acts of assault and battery which take place on their property. Generally there are two avenues of liability which can be imparted on the property owner. (1) Cases where an employee of the property owner or an employee of the business on the property commits the criminal act of assault and battery. (2) Cases where the violent crime is committed by a third party on the property.
- In many cases security personnel hired by the property owner or employees of a property owner or business establishment on the property commit act of assault and batter against a customer or innocent bystander. Under the agency theory liability can be established if the “agent” or employee of the owner criminal actions were in some way for the benefit or furtherance of the business activity of the owner. A secondary way to impart liability under the agency theory is if the employer acted under the guidance or direction of the owner, or if the instrumentality of tool used to harm the victims was provided to the employee by the employer. For example if the security guard was given a taser by the property owner to use against customers at a bar or nightclub.
- Property owner liability for 3rd party actions: Liability can be established for the actions of a third part if the property owner new or should have known of the dangerous actions of others on his property but failed to take any precautions or properly warn individuals who enter the property of the probability of harm caused by others. This can be established if there have be previous acts of harm committed on the property that the property owner had knowledge of but failed to secure the property from unlawful trespassers and known criminals.
Our offices have the resources to help maximize your recovery and help you recover for your loss. We have access to some of the best doctors in Southern California who will accept your visitation without any forward cost to you. The doctors work with us on medical lien and will evaluate your condition and provide treatment contingent upon your recovery.
Recovery can be for your medical expenses, loss of wages for not being able to work and possible emotional trauma suffered. If you have suffered an assault and battery and are in the middle of criminal proceedings contact our offices at 855-385-2529, Downtown LA Law assault and battery attorneys of Los Angeles.
Suing for the Wrongful Death of a Family Member: Survivors rights allow for the families of those who have died as a result of their injuries to recover on behalf of the deceased. Such claim is known as Wrongful Death or Fatal Injury lawsuits in California. While such a claim is not a substitute for the harm suffered, it can provide closure to your case. Our offices have the resources to further your claim and our absolutely free case evaluation will help you determine the best course of action. With multiple offices around Southern California our assault and battery injury attorneys of Los Angeles can help with your recovery.
Common Injuries in Assault and battery Cases:
Numerous injuries can occur as a result of an assault and battery. Based on our past cases our team has compiled a detailed list of some of the most common injuries resulting from acts of assault and battery.
Brain Injury resulting from blunt force trauma to the head: There are many signs and symptoms of a brain injury. Those who are suffering from any such symptoms should seek medical attention immediately. Loss of consciousness, short term memory loss, nausea and vomiting, loss of hearing, ringing in the ear and sensitivity to light.
Whiplash Neck Injuries and Spinal Cord Damage: Victims of back and neck injuries can suffer lifelong chronic pain resulting in an inability to work and pursue daily activities. Back and neck injury victims should be evaluated by an orthopedic doctor specializing in spinal cord damage.
Broken Bones: Including fracture to the tibia and fibula, hand and wrist fractures, cracked ribs, skull fractures, and broken arms.
Facial lacerations: Deep cuts and lacerations to the face often result in permanent scarring and disfigurement. Victims should have their scars evaluated by a cosmetic surgeon.
Facial Injuries: Broken or fractures to the nose, broken teeth, TMJ injuries to the jaw, hearing loss, and tinnitus (chronic ringing in the ear). Tinnitus is a major complication associated with damage to the ear drum. Victims should be evaluated and diagnosed by an ENT specialist.
Internal Organ Damage: Including internal bleeding and hemorrhaging, organ failure, collapsed lung, damage to the pancreases resulting on acute pancreatitis, ruptured spleen and liver damage.
Other damages in such cases can include, pain and suffering, mental stress including post traumatic stress, lost wages due to missed work, future earnings loss, medical expenses, including prescription drug expenses, doctors visits, and future physical therapy needs.
Civil Recovery versus Criminal Charges in Assault and Battery Claims
Civil recovery allows for the plaintiff or victim to recovery civilly against the defendant. The standards of proof for civil assault and battery are substantially less then criminal. Thus, it is common for civil suits to be successful while criminal charges are denied. Victims of such violent crimes including assault, battery or death are entitled to recovery and our offices can help with your claim.
Free No Cost Legal Consultation: Victims of assault and battery may have many questions regarding their case. We hope that we have been able to answer many of your questions here. However, if you have any further legal questions or if you would like us to review your case in person feel free to contact us. All cases review and consultations are provided by our experienced attorneys free of charge.