There are various different causes of serious injuries, such as car accidents, slip and fall accidents, and more. But one of the scariest ways of being injured may be assault and battery. Indeed, being attacked by another person can be terrifying, and in some cases, the attack can leave both physical and psychological scars. At the El Dabe Ritter Law Firm, our Los Angeles assault and battery attorneys take our clients’ injuries very seriously and are passionate about holding negligent, violent parties accountable for the harm that they cause. If you have been assaulted by someone and suffered harm, you may have a personal injury claim. Call us today for answers to your tough legal questions and a free consultation about your options.
Injuries from Assault and Battery
Assault is typically defined as an intentional act committed by one party (defendant) against the other (victim/plaintiff) that is intended to cause a fear of harm. Battery, on the other hand, is typically defined as actually making contact that is offensive and harmful (i.e. actually hitting someone, vs. merely threatening to hit them). Both harm and the threat of harm can cause injuries to a person, if but psychological, but the former–actual physical harm–typically results in greater damages and is easier to prove. When a person is a victim of assault and battery, they may incur various losses and injuries. Common injuries might include:
- Bone fractures;
- Internal bleeding;
- Damage to organs;
- Head and traumatic brain injuries;
- Permanent scarring or/and disfigurement; and
- Soft tissue injuries.
In the most severe of assault and battery cases, when a person is badly attacked, they may even suffer an injury to the spinal cord which leaves them partially or completely paralyzed for the remainder of their life. In addition to the physical effects of an attack, psychological harm is very common too. Following the attack, a person may suffer from fear and anxiety, a loss of self-confidence or self-worth, a diminished quality of life, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
These injuries may lead to numerous damage types, such as high medical expenses and hospitalization costs, lost wages, future therapy costs, and more. Our Los Angeles assault and battery attorneys firmly believe that a victim should be compensated for these losses.
The Elements of an Assault and Battery Personal Injury Case
If you have been attacked and are thinking about pursuing a personal injury claim for damages against the at-fault party, it’s important that you understand the elements of a personal injury claim involving assault and battery. Our lawyers can explain each element in more detail, and help you to gather the evidence you need to prove your case.
- Duty of care. The first element that must be established is duty of care, specifically, that the defendant owed you a duty of care. If you are bringing your claim against the person who assaulted you (and not another third party), the duty of care is typically implied – an individual has a duty to conduct themselves as a reasonable person might, which includes refraining from causing others harm or breaking the law.
- Breach of duty of care. The second element is proving that the defendant breached the duty of care owed to you. In other words, you must prove that the defendant’s actions, such as attempting to hit you or actually hitting you, was unreasonable, unlawful, or both.
- Causation. The third element of a successful personal injury claim is proving that your injuries would not have occurred but for the defendant’s actions.
- Damages. Finally, you will need to provide proof of all of the damages you have suffered, such as medical bills, disability, loss of quality of life, etc.
Who Can Be Held Liable?
If you are thinking about filing a personal injury claim to recoup damages for harm, you may be thinking that the only party against whom you can bring your suit is the person who actually attacked you. However, this is not always the case; you may also be able to bring a negligent security claim against the property owner where the attack occurred.
A negligent security claim holds that the assault and battery would not have occurred but for a lack of reasonable security on the property–such as proper lighting, locked doors, a security guard, etc.–and as such, the person responsible for providing security (the property owner) should be held liable.
Our lawyers will thoroughly investigate your case to determine whether or not any other parties played a role in your trauma, as well as what sources of insurance are available to help compensate you for your harm.
Filing a Personal Injury Case for Battery along with Criminal Charges
Assault and battery is a crime in California, and a person who commits assault and battery may have criminal charges brought against them by the state. However, a criminal case and a civil case are very different, and you should not expect for the outcome of a criminal case to compensate you in any way; criminal cases that result in a guilty verdict punish the criminal, but do not compensate the victim. If you want to recoup damages, you must file a civil suit against the individual. A civil suit will have no criminal implication–i.e., the guilty party will not be thrown in jail or have a mark assessed against their criminal record–but can result in a monetary compensation for the victim. It should be noted that the criminal justice system and the civil system are completely separate; a defendant could be found guilty in one and innocent in the other.
Call Our Los Angeles Assault and Battery Attorneys Today for a Free Consultation
Being attacked by another person can be terrifying, and may leave you with serious and long-term injuries. If you have suffered economic and noneconomic losses as a result of an assault and battery in Los Angeles, our assault and battery attorneys want to help you. Please call us today for a free, no-obligation consultation about your case, or send us a message telling us more about what’s happened to you. We promise to respond within 24 hours.