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.
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.
Learn more about your options for compensation by calling (213) 389-3765.
Assault and Battery Recovery – Punitive DamagesUnder 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.
- 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.
Learn more about your legal options by chatting with a representative now.