Personal Injury Lawsuits for Assault & Battery
People aren’t simply allowed to hurt you maliciously. If you’ve been the victim of assault or battery, you may be able to fight back with a civil lawsuit seeking compensation from the person who harmed you, or people who through their inactions or failures, allowed you to come to harm. And, while the terms “assault and battery” are often paired together, the two words can carry very different meanings from a legal standpoint depending on where you are located. In fact, they can be two separate claims.
Assault vs Battery in Civil Suits
An assault can be any intentional act or show of force that is meant to cause harm or fear. For example, if someone raises their arm to strike you causing you to be fearful, but does not follow through with the action, that is considered an assault. No contact was made, but you feared you were going to be harmed.
Battery occurs when the assailant follows through with the harmful act and physically injures you. In other words, there has to be physical force and contact. Battery does not have to follow assault. If someone attacks or strikes you without warning, that’s battery but not assault.
It is important to note that these definitions can differ state-to-state.
Assault and battery can happen to anyone, at any time, and anywhere: nursing homes, parking garages, sports stadiums, on a highway, day care facilities, at work, in your living room, in schools and universities. That’s just to name a few.
So, if you’ve been a victim, who can be held responsible for the damage done to you? It’s not necessarily just the person who harmed you. You may be entitled to compensation from someone who allowed you to come to harm.
For example: Let’s say you are staying in a hotel and someone attacked you while you were returning to your room. If you were harmed or injured, you can bring criminal assault and/or battery charges against the assailant, and pursue legal action against them. You may also have civil claims against the property owner, the hotel manager, and depending on the circumstances, possibly other negligent parties too.
For assault and battery, potential claims could be filed for:
- Inadequate security procedures
- Inadequate or insufficient security
- Failure to adequately screen guests and visitors
- Inadequate lighting in stairwells, hallways, parking lots, common areas
- Malfunctioning door locks
- Inoperable security cameras or phones
Damage Claims in Assault and Battery Cases
Depending on where you are in the Carolinas, the rules for proving assault may differ. For example, in North Carolina, you do not have to show physical evidence of assault. However you must be able to prove the person’s intent was to harm you. South Carolina differs. An assault manifests in more psychological, emotional, and mental evidence – sometimes even post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Battery claims must show physical evidence of harm, or offensive or unlawful touching or contact regardless of whether this is an actual physical injury you can see. Damages can potentially include:
- Past and current medical expenses associated with the attack
- Future medical expenses you may require
- Lost wages if you are unable to work as a result of the attack
- Pain and suffering
Depending on the circumstances you may be able to potentially receive punitive damages. Punitive damages are intended to penalize the attacker for a particularly heinous or reckless act, and to try to deter others from engaging in similar behavior. In some cases, punitive damages can be up to three-times the amount awarded for regular damages.
Contact Our Assault and Battery Lawyers for a Free Case Evaluation
If you or a loved one have been the victim of an assault or battery, contact us online or call 1-866-900-7078 for a free case evaluation. You are not helpless, and you are not alone. We can help you fight back. Plus, we work on a contingency fee, so if we don’t recover for you, you do not owe us one dime in attorney fees2.