Personal injury lawsuits are commonly filed due to accidents such as a car crash, a slip and fall, a dog bite, and even defamation. But there are some cases when the personal injury was done intentionally rather than in an accidental circumstance.
In the case of assault and other forms of intentional torts (wrongdoings), personal and physical injuries are not due to accidents, but they are caused by a person who has the ill intentions of hurting another person. Most of these cases involve a criminal case against the suspect who will probably face criminal charges. If for instance, you are being assaulted and/or battered, can you sue for assault and battery?
Defining Assault and Battery
Before this article answers if suing for beating you up is possible, let us first define what assault is. Under the tort law, assault is defined as an intentional act done by a person, causing a “reasonable apprehension of imminent and harmful contact” to another individual. This means an action that causes the victim to feel that he or she is going to be harmfully touched or hurt by the offender. As a matter of fact, most states consider a simple touch, which incites fear and harm, is already considered an assault.
Battery, on the other hand, is also a personal injury that shows evident harmful or offensive contact with the plaintiff (the victim) and the ill intentions of the defendant to cause that hurtful contact. But usually, claims of assault and battery are filed together by the complainant.
Now that we have defined these two kinds of intentional torts, can you sue for assault and battery? Yes, you have every right to file an assault and battery lawsuit, but you need to make sure that you are also financially ready for it. The primary objective of a civil case, such as this, is to seek compensation for the victim from the perpetrator. If for instance, the offender does not have anything to pay or give you as a form of compensation, then there is clearly nothing you can get from that person.
In some cases, there may be an existing liability insurance, but most of these insurance policies do not include the acts intentionally done by the insured individual. It is extremely rare to use liability insurances in an assault and battery case or all intentional torts in general.
Assault and Battery Injuries and Damages
How much can you sue for assault and battery? In suing for beating you up, specifically assault and battery cases, it typically involves damages that can cause physical injuries, psychological trauma, or both. In other situations, assault can also cause damage to properties.
If you sustain physical blows, bruises, and other injuries because you were being assaulted and battered, then you can be entitled to recover the following types of civil damages to compensate for your pain or loss:
Economic – This type of damages will reimburse or repay you for all the costs that have been incurred because of being assaulted. These are usually medical bills, reimbursements for repairing or replacing the property, as well as, the expenses used for continual care and maintenance.
Non-Economic – These are damages that are given as a way to compensate for physical pain and emotional suffering. Unlike economic damages, non-economic are more difficult to quantify. In most assault-related cases, both economic and non-economic damages are awarded to the plaintiff.
Punitive – Otherwise known as exemplary damages, punitive damages have only a specific purpose, and that is to punish the defendant. In order for the court to possibly award punitive damages, it is a general rule that the assault must be egregious or outrageous such as sexual child abuse and sexual assault. Apparently, not all states have this type of damages for assault charges. Certain jurisdictions have punitive damages but are only given based on specific circumstances.