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Can I Sue For Physical Assault Causing Bodily Harm?

Physical assault is the crime by which a victim of assault injury is threatened with bodily harm to the extent that it creates great apprehension in the victim.  The companion crime of battery includes actually applying force to another person’s body with the intent of causing offense or harm.  Both are criminal charges that can have expensive fines and lengthy prison terms.  They can be exacerbated by the addition of serious bodily injury or use of a deadly weapon.  However, the victim of assault injury and battery can retain an personal injury attorney to seek damages from the perpetrators in civil court, as well.

Assault Defined
While assault is generally the crime of threatening harm to someone, and battery is the crime of actually causing the harm that is threatened, many people use these terms interchangeably.  The majority of people don’t know the difference and do not generally need to.  As long as they know, they can consult an assault injury lawye to seek damages as a victim of assault injury, this is often enough.

The key to assault is that you speak and act in a threatening way that convinces the victim you will carry out your threat.  The apprehension of the threat may be enough for some judges to award damages to victim of assault injury when a civil claim is filed.  Just threatening words, however, cannot be charged as assault.  Those words have to be empowered by threatening gestures that convince the victim the threat is real.  If you are the victim of assault injury, you have the right to call the police, and you have the right to contact a lawyer of your choice to possible file a suit for damages. 

In addition, assault, to be a real threat, must include the understanding that the perpetrator actually intends to harm the victim.  The threat must also be imminent, not delayed.  The threat and the apprehension they cause to the victim of assault injury create an emotional damage that the courts believe should be compensated for in a suit.  

In some states, assault and battery are so intertwined, that there is a crime defined as assault and battery.  A victim of assault injury through assault and battery can also suffer physical or mental injury, therefore they may be entitled to compensation through a personal injury attorney filing a civil lawsuit.  As a result of these varying definitions, physical assault can mean different things in different states.  Therefore, physical assault resulting in bodily harm can mean the harm that results from apprehension over an imminent threat, and a personal injury attorney or assault injury lawyer may win compensation for a victim of assault injury that takes that form, as well. 

In other states, the victim of assault injury can mean actual physical injuries that require a medical doctor’s care.  That can become exaggerated assault if the injuries are serious, and a personal injury attorney may be able to file suit for larger damages.  The degree of injury for the victim of assault injury can also depend on the victim.  A younger victim of assault injury will suffer more apprehension at a serious threat of harm than a young adult.  As will an older adult.  Assault injury lawyers will often argue for more compensation for the most threatened, and civil courts can respond accordingly. 

Compensation for Assault
Assault and battery are both criminal and tort law crimes.  That means that the state is “compensated” by punishing and, hopefully, deterring the criminal from continuing their behavior.  The victim of assault injury receives damages for their suffering or injuries when a civil suit is filed.  There are three types of damages that can be awarded for a civil suit filed by an assault injury lawyer, which include:
  • Compensatory damages are monies to compensate the victim of assault injury for the medical expenses, home care, and more.  They are won by an assault injury lawyer or an injury lawyer.
  • Nominal damages are small awards in minor injury cases argued by assault injury lawyers and injury lawyers.  These small damages are merely an acknowledgement of the suffering of the victim of assault injury, if any.
Punitive damages are much larger amounts awarded in much more serious cases where the intent to threaten or harm was flagrant and the state and/or jury hope to punish the defendant for their heartlessness or recklessness. 
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