As in other California cities, in Los Angeles, assault and battery incidents frequently require the retention of a personal injury attorney who specializes in intentional torts. Suffering bodily harm in a violent incident, and even the threat of physical harm, can be traumatic and emotionally devastating. If you are the victim of assault or battery, you may be due monetary compensation through a civil lawsuit filed in the Superior Court.
You, the victim, can successfully pursue a civil case whether or not criminal charges are filed and whether or not a conviction is obtained. The burden of proof differs between civil and criminal assault and battery cases. Criminal charges need to be proven “beyond a reasonable doubt” by a unanimous jury decision. All that is required in civil court is a “preponderance of evidence” affirmed by a 9 of 12 majority of the jury. Also, punitive damages are available if malice is proved at trial.
Examples of Catastrophic Injuries:
Whether an assault takes place at work, at home or in public, these intentional acts (“torts”) are well defined by the law:
Assault occurs when someone willfully and intentionally physically attacks you or threatens to cause you harm through physical force or the apprehension of physical harm. The threat is such that your fear was authentic, well-founded and imminent and that the individual making this threat was likely to follow through. No actual physical harm or contact need be demonstrated with assault.
Battery: When someone intentionally makes unconsented contact with you, or is responsible for causing an object to strike you (against your will) they are guilty of battery. In a civil case, battery need not cause bodily harm, however punitive damages are available because it is an intentional act. Medical expenses and pain and suffering are compensable items of damages.
Assault and battery can occur in innumerable contexts: sexual assaults, domestic violence, reckless operation of a motor vehicle or altercations.
Here are some examples of situations NOT considered “assault and battery”:
- Police officers who use warranted and reasonable force
- Property owners defending against damage to their land and buildings
- Merchants defending from damage or theft
- School teachers (specific rules vary by jurisdiction)
- Contact sports
- A person using excessive and unreasonable force, such as when an altercation escalates to a knife or gun fight
- Parents disciplining their own children
As noted, the definitions of assault and battery are a matter of degree. It is the job of your assault and battery attorney to effectively represent your case in a court of law.
In claims involving assault & battery, you must hire the right attorney who is able to assess and address all of the important considerations which arise when representing clients who have suffered assault & battery injuries. To determine the right damages and the maximum compensation you are entitled to, you need attorneys who are experienced in understanding the nature and extent of the injuries and resulting damages. Our experienced assault & battery injury attorneys are able to review your medical documentation, hire the right medical experts who will successfully testify about your injury, how it was caused and the detrimental effects on your life.