Assault / Battery: Injured
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Assault and Battery

Assault and Battery are not just areas of criminal law-they're also part of tort law. This means that you might be able to bring personal injury lawsuits if you've been the victim of assault or battery. Although quite similar, assault and battery have some subtle differences. Assault is an intentional threat or attempt to inflict injury on a person, whereas battery is the intentional touching of, or application of force to, the body of another person, in a harmful or offensive manner, and without consent.

The one major difference between assault or battery as a crime and as a tort lies in the burden of proof. In a criminal case, the jury would have to find the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. In a tort case, also called a civil case, the burden of proof is preponderance of evidence.


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While most battery cases are handled in criminal courts, if prosecutors are unwilling or unable to bring a case, you may be able to sue someone in civil court for battery. Battery is generally defined as the intentional touching of another person in a harmful or offensive manner, without consent. But a seemingly straightforward battery claim can be surprisingly complicated.

Here’s a simple guide to battery lawsuits:

Most cases of assault are handled by criminal courts, through trials, fines, and jail sentences. And while that may serve to punish the person who committed the assault, it doesn't always address the needs of the victim. That is left to the civil courts.

Yes, assault victims can sue for money. But how much can they get?

As we’ve learned from the Bill Cosby allegations, sometimes a district attorney declines to bring charges against accused rapists. Or if they do, it could be 10 years later. And even if a rapist is charged, convicted, and goes to jail, a victim may not be compensated for his or her trauma, pain, or suffering.

So can rape victims sue their rapists in civil court?

Assault is a crime. And if you’ve been the victim of an assault, hopefully law enforcement officials were able to identify and prosecute the perpetrator. But a criminal conviction might not be enough to compensate you for an assault.

If you’ve been injured in an assault, you may have medical bills and lost wages — who’s going to pay for that? Can you sue for damages sustained in an assault?

Liability in a Bar Fight

Most nights out are fairly uneventful — you have a few beers, a few laughs, and you make it home safe. Other nights, not so much.

Depending on the kinds of watering holes you frequent, bar fights are relatively rare, as are bar fight injuries. But what happens if you get caught up in a brawl and get hurt? Who’s liable for your injuries in a bar fight?

Movie buffs can barely contain their excitement for the upcoming all-female "Ghostbusters" reboot. Turns out law enforcement officials in Boston might be thankful for the film as well.

A woman who was shoved to the street in Boston on Wednesday passed away yesterday, and officers think they found the person responsible, thanks to a cameraman working on the movie.

Summer is here, and many parents will be dropping their kids off at camp for a week or two. Parents trust camps with their children's safety, and a California court has ruled that relationship creates a duty for camps to disclose suspected molestation by camp employees.

The case involved allegations of sexual misconduct by Keith Edward Woodhouse during his time at the Camp on the Hill, a summer camp for first through sixth graders. Despite reports that Woodhouse may have molested a young female camper, the camp never informed the girl's parents. The court found that, because camps sit "in loco parentis," they owe a duty to report suspected abuse to parents.

Stories of bullying in the school yard are in the news all too often. Just last month, a 12-year old boy with Asperger's syndrome was beaten so severely, he had to be hospitalized with a jawline fracture, fractured skull, and ear damage.

Often, victims' parents sue the school districts that failed to protect their students or the actual bullies. However, can parents of the bullies also be sued?

How Do You Prove Assault in Civil Court?

The word “assault” most likely brings to mind a criminal act. And while assault certainly can be charged as a criminal violation, it may also be the grounds for a lawsuit in civil court.

When it comes to proving an assault, there may be an even more pervasive misconception: that an assault requires some form of physical violence or contact. On the contrary, a person may be liable for assault even where no actual physical contact has taken place.

With that being said, what are the requirements for proving assault in civil court? Here’s a general overview:

If you're injured while incarcerated in prison or jail, can you still sue for your injuries?

There are remedies in both state and federal courts for injuries incurred by inmates, but depending on the cause of the injury, you may be confined to certain legal avenues.

Consider the following ways in which an inmate can sue for injuries in jail or prison: