An assault can give rise to both criminal charges and a personal injury civil lawsuit. An assault is an action that made the victim expect that they were about to be hurt, or at least touched, in a harmful way by another person. Battery is when someone voluntarily and intentionally brings about a harmful or offensive contact with the victim. The difference between assault and battery is that battery requires actual contact.
Criminal vs. Civil
In a criminal case, the individual is prosecuted by the government and the goal is punishment. If the individual is found guilty of assault or battery, he or she will be punished with imprisonment, probation, restitution, or any other punishment determined by the court. In a civil claim for assault and battery, the goal is compensation. As a victim, you are then seeking damages for the injuries you sustained as a result of the assault or battery. If you succeed you may be awarded compensatory damages from the individual.
The court will consider the amount of medical costs, treatment costs, wage loss, household loss, severity of injury, and pain and suffering you have acquired as a result of the assault or battery and award compensatory damages to compensate for your loss. You may also be awarded punitive damages to punish the individual financially.
If you, or any loved one, feel they have victim to assault or battery, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact Beament Hebert Nicholson to discuss your case.
NOTE: If you are considering taking any legal action, contact our office as soon as possible due to potential legal time limits for starting a lawsuit.