Injured - The FindLaw Accident, Injury and Tort Law Blog

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.


Recently in Assault / Battery Category

Once our medical devices became "smart," or even just dependent on embedded computer or radio components for communication, the possibility of hacking those devices became a reality. While much of the focus has been on hacking pacemakers, doctors writing in the Chicago Sun-Times point out that those aren't the only vulnerable medical devices. "Defibrillators, neurostimulators and implantable drug pumps, like insulin pumps, rely on the same embedded computers and software radios for their two-way communication, they noted, adding, "weak security features have left these devices potentially vulnerable to outside manipulation."

And if a medical implant is tampered with, what can you do about it? Here's what you can do if your medical device is hacked.

Over 100 Uber Drivers Accused of Assault, Abuse

Millions of people have relied on Uber to get where they need to go. But not everyone arrives at their destination safely. Reporting and analysis by CNN reveals that over 100 Uber drivers have been accused of sexual assault or abuse over the past four years. With criminal charges, civil suits, and even class action lawsuits pending, customers are wondering what changes are being made, and Uber is promising to be part of the solution.

Two weeks ago, Bill Cosby was convicted of drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand in 2004. Constand was just one of dozens of women who have accused the former actor and comedian of inappropriate sexual behavior and rape, and many of them have filed civil lawsuits against Cosby.

Does the guilty verdict in one case necessarily mean Cosby must pay out in the civil lawsuits? And how do convictions generally affect a person's civil liability?

Black Friday Injury Roundup

We warned you -- Black Friday is dangerous. And, as expected, quite a few people were injured while trying to take advantage of some sweet shopping deals this year. While we're not quite as morbid as BlackFridayDeathCount.com (or as humorous as The Onion), it can be valuable to take a look at this year's injuries, how they might have been avoided, and what lawsuits may follow.

Here's a rundown of 2017's Black Friday injuries:

The July confrontation in Utah made headlines nationwide: a University Hospital nurse standing off a Salt Lake City police officer, refusing to allow blood to be drawn from an unconscious patient involved in a car crash. Alex Wubbels correctly pointed out to Detective Jeff Payne the patient was not under arrest, Payne did not have a warrant to obtain the blood, and that he could not obtain consent from the unconscious man.

Payne arrested Wubbels anyway, ostensibly for obstruction of justice, but the nurse was released less than an hour later and never charged. Today, Wubbels and her attorney announced they have reached a settlement with the city and the university that owns the hospital for $500,000.

A new lawsuit against neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and white nationalist groups in the wake of violence in Charlottesville, Virginia claims the antagonists brought "semi-automatic weapons, pistols, mace, rods, armor, shields, and torches" to the city, with "the purpose of inciting violence and instilling fear within the community of Charlottesville and beyond."

The suit, filed on behalf of 11 people injured during the August clashes, charge 26 individuals and groups with negligence, conspiracy, harassment, infliction of emotional distress, and assault along with violations of the Ku Klux Klan Act and the Civil Rights Act. Here's a look:

If there is anything positive to be taken from the horrific Harvey Weinstein revelations, it's that more victims of rape, sexual assault, and sexual harassment -- both male and female -- are coming forward with their stories. And as more stories are told, more lawsuits will follow.

And that will leave many people wondering whether you can sue for sexual assault or harassment, and who, other than the perpetrator, might be responsible. Here's a look:

Hospitals, and the medical professionals they employ, are supposed to be the places and people we can turn to for care, cure, and comfort. Sadly, in doesn't always work out that way. Hospitals can make mistakes and their employees can abuse their power to take advantage of vulnerable patients.

That's what happened according to one woman's lawsuit against Baptist Memorial Hospital in Oxford, Mississippi. A Jane Doe claims a paramedic sexually assaulted her in the back of an ambulance while she was suffering from a drug overdose and being transported to the hospital.

Aschea Austin, according to her civil complaint, visited the drive-thru South State Road Dunkin' Donuts in Margate, Florida in December 2015, four months pregnant at the time. Unhappy with her order, Austin admittedly "became a participant in a verbal, then physical altercation with Xiomara Henry," a Dunkin' employee.

One month later, Austin went to the hospital complaining of a fever, nausea, and vomiting. She later miscarried in the hospital, and is now suing the doughnut chain, claiming it and the employee are liable for the miscarriage.

Much was made of the 'enhanced interrogation techniques' employed by the U.S. military and contractors in terrorism investigations. Often considered torture, the interrogation program was at the center of an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit filed against the alleged architects of that program, on behalf two men subjected to those techniques and the family of one man who froze to death in a CIA prison.

In what the ACLU says is a first for lawsuits involving CIA torture, the two defendants in the case, psychologists James Mitchell and John "Bruce" Jessen, have agreed to settle the lawsuit, for an undisclosed amount.