When a person is a victim of a criminal assault or battery, there are many legal rights that should be explored in order to receive justice. This type of justice may include recovering compensation for the damage through civil court, in addition to punishments handed down in criminal court. When a claim is filed in civil court for the damages associated with assault injuries, they are presented in the form on intentional torts, which is basically a lawsuit that is filed against the offending party.
While the terms “assault” and “battery” are often used in combination with one another, they are actually quite different when being discussed in a legal setting. When proving a claim of assault, the injured party must be able to prove that the offending party intentionally acted in a manner that caused the injured party to feel fear that an immediate physical danger would take place. In other words, assault lawsuits do not necessarily depend on the level of physical contact between the parties, but simply the amount of fear that the injured party experienced prior to physical harm taking place.
In order to prove damage in an assault injury case, the injured party must provide “grounds for recovery”. This means that the injured party is filing the suit in order to recover monetary compensation for physical damages they have suffered. Because the process varies a great deal from state to state and because it can be quite extensive, it is important to contact a personal injury attorney who specializes in these types of claims. He or she will assess the validity of your case and help you to determine if you will stand to gain a reward that is worth the cost of pursuing legal action.
Since the basis of these claims is centered upon the imminent threat of physical harm, the court also considers how a reasonable person would react in the situation. Because of this, damages are determined by the injured party’s proof that the result of this threat, fear, and harm has left him or her with emotional, physical, psychological and other damages. Future damages may also be taken into consideration in certain situations as well. While civil courts can only do so much to assess the value of personal damages, the injured party may also find it worthwhile to file criminal charges that will then be prosecuted by state and/or local government agencies.
There are also various types of assaults that can be brought before a court in order to receive compensation for injuries or damages. These types of cases include: physical attacks, sexual assaults, domestic abuse, and various other types of injuries that were sustained due to intentional harm being inflicted. When the case is proven adequately, and the judge or jury has determined that the offending party is in fact responsible for the assault and the injuries sustained, the award process is then started.
These awards can come in the form of several different types of compensation, and include:
Compensatory Damages: This form of compensation is designed to “compensate” the injured party for any lost wages, medical bills, or other expenses that are a direct result of the injuries sustained from the assault. For example, if a person suffers a broken leg and a concussion because of a mugging, the compensatory damages would be awarded for the total cost of all medical treatments required, as well as lost wages from not being able to attend work.
Nominal Damages: This form of compensation is typically available in civil cases involving assaults, especially if the injured party has not experienced any major injuries. Nominal damages are awarded by a court or jury when they find the offending party has violated the injured party’s civil rights by carrying out the attack.
Punitive Damages: Punitive damages are not always awarded, and certain jurisdictions do not allow such damages to be paid in certain circumstances. These damages are reserved for cases that are particularly heinous and are meant to punish the offending party. Punitive damages acknowledge not only the physical harm the person endured, and the expenses related to those injuries, but also are set forth to help deter future acts of a similar nature.
Any time you or someone you know has suffered any type of injury due to a physical assault, it is a good idea to contact a personal injury attorney. He or she is extremely well versed in the laws that govern this issue and will be able to help you establish your complaint, file your paper work, and assess the true validity of your case.
Since this type of civil litigation can be somewhat complicated, and the laws do vary a bit from state to state, a personal injury attorney is your best chance to receive the damages you are truly entitled to receive. Injured parties should never try to file a lawsuit on their own. A personal injury attorney will go after the maximum amount of compensation that is possible based upon the laws of the jurisdiction.
Because assault injuries can leave long term damage both physically and mentally you should always seek prompt assistance. Since evidence can disappear somewhat quickly, people tend to forget what they saw, and witnesses can be difficult to locate you should never wait to proceed with your case. A personal injury attorney will handle every part of the process from collecting information, to contacting law enforcement agencies, as well as determining if a settlement or a trial would be most beneficial.
You should never run the risk of being victimized twice. The assault was bad enough without having to worry about your future, or how to carry on with the disabilities and emotional harm you may have incurred from the incident. A personal injury attorney will work hard on your side to get you the financial and emotional justice that you deserve. The sooner you move forward with your case, the sooner you can begin to put your life back on track.