Few things can be more traumatizing than a personal assault.
Whether from someone you know or a complete stranger, assault & battery crimes are among the most serious dangers faced in modern America, and they can leave their victims feeling powerless.
After an attack, a lot of victims believe their only hope for justice is criminal prosecution of the perpetrator. What many battery sufferers don’t know is that, much like other forms of personal injury such as dog bites and auto accidents, they have the right to sue their assailant in civil court in an attempt to pursue damages.
Common injuries caused by assault & battery
If you have been injured due to an act of violence perpetrated by another, the law gives you the ability to seek financial damages against them to compensate for the losses you have suffered as a result.
What constitutes assault & battery?
As defined by California penal code 242, assault & battery is “any willful and unlawful use of force or violence upon the person of another”. This sort of assault can range from severe beatings to a single physical encounter between multiple parties, and can qualify as assault & battery no matter the severity of the injury. The broad definition of assault & battery may include domestic violence, physical altercations, sexual assault, and even reckless operation of vehicles.
Further distinction can be made between the terms depending on the circumstances of the case. Assault occurs either when an unlawful physical assault is made from one party to another, or if the victim was threatened with harm through physical force or the apprehension of physical harm. If a threat is made that caused the victim to experience well-founded and authentic fear, and the individual made is considered likely to have followed through on the threat, this can be considered assault as well under California law even if there was no physical contact made.
Battery, on the other hand, occurs when the perpetrator intentionally makes unconsented physical contact with the victim, or acts in such a way as to cause an object to strike the victim against their will. In civil cases where financial damages are being pursued, even if the battery doesn’t cause physical harm, punitive damages may still be available due to the intentional nature of the act.
What are my options if I have been injured by assault or battery?
While the prevailing belief is that assault & battery cases can only be resolved through criminal trials, California law provides victims the right to seek financial damages & restitution against their assailant through civil court. These damages could potentially include:
- Medical expenses (as a result of incurred injuries)
- In-home care/assistance during recovery
- Lost income
- Pain and suffering
These damages will vary depending on the exact nature of your case.
Contact a Los Angeles assault & battery lawyer
If you are the victim of assault & battery in California, the law gives you the right to seek damages against your assailant. These laws can be tough to navigate, and facing your assailant in court can be a difficult prospect, so you’ll need someone on your side who can protect your best interests. The Wallace Firm understands the difficulties you’re facing during this time in your life, and our assault & battery attorneys will be on your side every step of the way. Contact us today to get things started.