It is common knowledge amongst most people that in the event a person is physically attacked by another, the offender is subject to face punishment in a criminal proceeding. However, unfamiliar to a substantial number of U.S. citizens is that an assault and battery can also be a basis for a personal injury lawsuit. The law entitles crime victims to sue the perpetrator in a civil lawsuit in order to recover damages for his or her injuries.
What is an Assault and Battery?
Assault and battery are common law intentional torts. An intentional tort is one in which a wrongdoer acts with the intention, or purpose, to inflict harm upon a victim. Nevertheless, assault and battery are two separate torts, but are often alleged together in one complaint as a legal cause of action. In order to understand their differences, an assault, for example, occurs when a person intentionally places a victim in imminent fear or apprehension of an offensive or harmful touching; whereas a battery has been committed when a person makes an unwanted or unauthorized touching upon another. Moreover, not all assaults have to include a battery, and vice versa-not all batteries have to include an assault.
For example, if on one night a person was asleep and a neighbor slipped into their room and kissed the victim while he or she was asleep, the neighbor could be liable for a battery. This kiss could be a sufficient basis for liability, and it would be irrelevant if the victim had knowledge of the contact at the time of its occurrence. As long as the kiss was considered an offensive contact by the victim, it is known as a battery.
However, courts have a tendency to examine the relationship between the parties in a Georgia assault and battery lawsuit in order to determine if the touching was one in which it would be offensive to a person’s reasonable sense of personal dignity. Additionally, if the victim normally has a predisposition of being hypersensitive, courts are reluctant to impose liability for a battery on a defendant. Likewise, in the case of sporting activities such as football, the nature of the sport itself requires some physical contact, and generally the law presumes that the plaintiff has impliedly consented to the contact. However, if contact is of the kind which exceeds the usual scope of normal sporting contact, then it is possible for a defendant to be found liable for the battery. Nonetheless, if you or a family member has recently been a victim of an assault or battery, including a criminal assault, you should contact our attorneys at www.hertz-law.com in order to receive legal advice about a potential lawsuit.
How to File an Assault and Battery Lawsuit Claim?
Our Georgia personal injury attorney represents victims who have been injured or seriously harmed as a result of another’s intentional misconduct and can file a civil lawsuit based upon an assault and battery allegation. However, in order to prevail in this type of proceeding, the plaintiff is required to prove to the court that the defendant intentionally acted to cause the plaintiff a fear of immediate harm, or that the defendant committed an offensive touching upon the victim. As a result of the defendant’s wrongful conduct, the plaintiff sustained personal injuries and damages.
Further, if the court determines that the defendant is liable, the plaintiff is entitled to recover compensatory damages such as reimbursement for medical costs, lost wages or pain and suffering. Also, punitive damages could be awarded against the defendant if the act was spurred with the intent to injure the plaintiff.
It is best to consult with our Georgia civil assault and battery lawyer about your case, and whether or not you have a valid legal claim. Our attorney can be located by visiting our website at www.hertz-law.com. It is important that you contact our office immediately because the law only allows 2 years from the date of the incident to file a personal injury lawsuit.