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What Must A Plaintiff Prove To Recover Compensation?


In order to recover monetary damages via a civil suit in an assault or battery case, first the plaintiff and his or her personal injury attorney must prove that the defendant was guilty of either assault and battery beyond a reasonable doubt.

Assault is a threat of bodily harm that causes fear of harm in the victim. This is often attached to the stipulation of “reasonable fear” to avoid outlandish claims flooding the court system. In the case of an assault, the defendant had to intend to make the plaintiff fearful of being battered, or had the intention to wrongfully touch the plaintiff.

If the defendant is being accuse of “wrongful touching,” this is battery. But, an injury is not a prerequisite of being guilty of an assault and battery charge. Even if a person is poked or spit on, that can be determined to be battery. The amount of damages awarded to the plaintiff will vary depending on the degree of the offense.

But, the most important criteria for proving liability in an assault or battery case is the defendant lacking privilege to assault or batter the plaintiff. The following are examples of when a defendant would have privilege, and therefore, not be guilty of assault and battery:

Consent - This is when a plaintiff gave permission to the defendant to inflict potentially harmful contact. If a physical act is an anticipated part of an actively, like in a sport, it is considered consent.

Self Defense - An assault and batter is not prosecutable by your personal injury lawyer if the act is done in self-defense. Someone who is assaulted can use a reasonable means to defend themselves. The act must be of logical proportion to the action being inflicted on them.

Defending Others - The same criteria applies to defending other people’s well-being.

Law Enforcement Conduct - A police officer can threaten or apply force if they deem it necessary to follow through with a lawful arrest of a defendant.

Mutually Agreed Upon Fight - If it is determined that two (or more) people voluntarily entered into a fight, there is little chance that either person could hire a personal injury attorney and win their case.

Defending Property - Most jurisdictions do not allow privilege to use force that may cause death or serious injury against trespassers unless that person actually threatens death or serious injury. The details vary depending on the jurisdiction. In some cases lethal actions are legal in defending property from theft.

Physical Discipline - Physical actions against children, such as spanking, are still perfectly legal for parents in most jurisdictions. Some jurisdictions still allow teachers to apply forceful discipline with children.

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