San Diego Assault And Battery Attorneys
Though assault and battery are crimes which may result in criminal prosecution, the victim of an assault and/or battery may also pursue a civil claim against their attacker(s) to recover compensatory and punitive damages.
What Is The Difference Between Assault And Battery?
Although these terms are often used together, there is a legal distinction between an assault and a battery. To put it simply: a battery may occur without an assault and an assault may occur without a battery. It’s thus very important to hire experienced attorneys who understand the nuances between these intentional torts.
In California, a person will be found liable for assault if:
- they either intended to make harmful or offensive contact with their victim or intended for the victim to believe that they would be subject to harmful or offensive contact; and
- the victim actually believed that they were going to be subject to harmful or offensive contact.
On the other hand, a person will be found liable for battery if:
- they intentionally subjected the victim to harmful or offensive contact; and
- the victim was in fact harmed or offended.
If You Are A Victim Of Assault And/Or Battery
A significant misconception about assault and/or battery claims is that criminal prosecution is the only legal recourse. In fact, an assault and/or battery victim may also recover monetary damages in civil court.
Pursuing Damages For An Assault And/Or Battery Claim
There are two different justice systems in this country: civil and criminal. In the criminal justice system, the prosecutor decides whether or not to charge a person (the defendant) with a crime. If the defendant is found guilty, he or she may be incarcerated and fined. The civil justice system allows Assault and Battery victims to bring claims for monetary damages against the defendant. While a guilty plea or verdict can bolster your claim, criminal prosecution is not necessary in order for a victim to pursue a claim. In fact, even if your attacker is found not guilty in criminal court, he or she may still be held liable for your injuries, and ordered to compensate you for:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages or loss of future earning potential
- Pain, suffering, anxiety, humiliation and emotional distress
- Punitive damages may also be recoverable against the attacker
We Are Here To Help
If you have been the victim of assault and/or battery, please know that you have significant legal rights. Even if you do not wish to press criminal charges, you may still be entitled to monetary compensation from your attacker.
Coast Law Group LLP is here to assist victims and hold wrongdoers responsible for their conduct. Contact our personal injury team today at 760-670-4554.