There are thousands of reported assaults in San Diego every year. In addition to being a crime, assault is also an intentional tort. This means that you can file a personal injury lawsuit if you are the victim of assault. You can demand that your attacker pay you for any harm you suffered.
Have you been the victim of an assault or battery in San Diego? If you have suffered any injury at all – physical, emotional, or financial – you may be entitled to compensation. Filing a personal injury lawsuit can allow you to recover money and hold your attacker responsible for their actions. At Injury Trial Lawyers, APC, we can help you maximize the financial award you receive. Call our San Diego assault injury attorneys to schedule your free consultation.
Assault & Battery Injury in San Diego
Assault and battery are widely known to be crimes in San Diego. However, both are also civil offenses. Specifically, assault and battery are what is known as intentional torts. This means that if someone intentionally assaults you or causes you harm, you can sue them for compensation. While the terms “assault” and “battery” are often used interchangeably, they are actually two different offenses.
In California, civil assault occurs when another person makes an attempt to threaten or harm you. In order to commit an assault, the person must have the present ability to cause harm. This simply means that they must be capable of carrying out the threat or attempt in that moment.
When you file a civil assault injury lawsuit, you will be required to prove:
- The defendant threatened or attempted to harm you;
- It was reasonable to believe the defendant was about to carry out the threat or attempt;
- You did not consent to the conduct; and
- The assault was a substantial factor in your injury.
Threats and Attempts of Harm. Assault occurs when someone threatens or attempts to touch you in a harmful or offensive manner. Harmful means that the contact would result in an injury. Offensive contact can include anything that would “offend a reasonable sense of personal dignity.”
Reasonable Fear. Your fear of an assault must be reasonable. In order for your fear to be reasonable, the person accused of assault must have had the present ability to touch you in a harmful or offensive way.
Words Are Not Enough. Assault requires another person to physically threaten or attempt to harm you. Words alone cannot categorize someone’s behavior as an assault. However, words, when used in conjunction with threatening behaviors, can be assault.
No Consent: Assault cannot occur if you willingly agreed to be threatened or touched in a harmful or offensive manner. As a result, you can’t agree to let someone punch you in the face and then turn around and accuse them of assault. You agreed to the harmful conduct ahead of time.
Injury: You have the right to file a lawsuit if an assault caused you to suffer an injury. Injuries can be physical, emotional, financial, social, or even psychological. In order to recover compensation, you must prove that the assault was a substantial factor in your harm.
Examples of civil assault include:
- Raising your fist in anger toward another person
- Threatening another person while holding a dangerous weapon
- Throwing an object in another person’s direction with the intent to scare or frighten, and
- Approaching another person and threatening to beat them up.
Simply put, battery is a successful assault. Battery occurs when another person intentionally makes harmful or offensive contact with you without your consent. When you file a civil battery injury lawsuit, you’ll have to prove each of the following elements:
- The defendant intentionally touched you in a harmful or offensive manner;
- A reasonable person would have also be offended or harmed;
- You did not consent to the touching; and
- The battery was a substantial cause of your injury.
Intentional. Battery can only occur when another person acts intentionally. An intentional action is carried out with purpose. It’s important to note, however, that another person doesn’t actually have to intend to hurt you. Here’s an example. Sam wants to scare his ex’s new boyfriend. He seems him walking down the street and grabs a glass bottle. He throws it in his direction, intending to frighten him. However, his aim is better than he thinks and he hits the guy square on the head. Sam intentionally threw the bottle. He will be considered to have acted intentionally, even though he didn’t mean to actually hit his target.
Reasonable Person Standard. Battery can involve harmful or offensive conduct. Harmful conduct is easy to identify when you see it. Conduct that is offensive can be harder to define. As a result, only conduct that would also offend an objectively reasonable person in the same situation will be classified as “offensive” for the purposes of civil battery.
Substantial Cause. Battery requires that you suffer an injury of some kind. In order to recover compensation, you’ll have to prove that the battery was a “substantial factor” in your harm. This requires you to show that you wouldn’t have suffered the injury if the harmful or offensive contact had never occurred.
Example of battery include:
- Punching, hitting, or striking another person with a fist or hand
- Harming another by throwing an object at them
- Touching another person in an inappropriate and/or sexual manner, and
- Using excessive force to subdue another person.
Compensation Available to Victims of Assault and Battery in San Diego
When someone else intentionally threatens or hurts you, it can do a lot of damage. You may suffer emotionally, psychologically, and even physically. The financial costs of your attack can add up quickly. Filing a personal injury lawsuit can allow you to get the money you need and deserve. At Injury Trial Lawyers, APC, our attorneys will pursue both economic and non-economic damages.
Economic Damages. Economic damages are awarded to help you with the financial costs of your assault and/or battery. Commonly awarded economic damages include those for:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Property damage
- Nursing care, and more.
You can recover compensation for actual costs you have today and for costs you’re likely to have in the future.
Non-Economic Damages. Non-economic damages are awarded to help you cope with the physical and emotional consequences of your accident. Just because these are personal and hard-to-value does not make them any less important. As a victim of assault or battery, you may be entitled to recover non-economic damages to compensate for:
- Anxiety and depression
- Emotional trauma
- Pain and suffering
- Injury to reputation
- Loss of enjoyment of life, and more.
Our attorneys will carefully investigate your assault and identify all possible damages. We’ll then work closely with experts to assess the true value of your case. This will help to make your personal injury claim as strong and persuasive as possible.
As a victim of assault, you may be entitled to an award of punitive damages. Assault can only occur when another person intentionally threatens or attempts to hurt you. Punitive damages can be requested if the defendant acted intentionally and/or with a conscious disregard for your rights. Punitive damages are imposed solely to punish the person who hurt you. They are awarded in addition to any other compensation you receive.
However, in order to recover punitive damages, you must prove that the defendant is guilty of reprehensible conduct by clear and convincing evidence. This is higher than the traditional standard of proof in civil cases (i.e., preponderance of the evidence). In most cases, punitive damages are reserved for the most serious and heinous acts of assault and battery.
San Diego Assault and Battery Injury Attorneys
Have you been the victim of assault and/or battery in San Diego? Are you suffering from a physical injury or finding it difficult to cope with the trauma of the incident? If so, you may want to consider filing a personal injury lawsuit against your attacker. Contact our San Diego assault and battery injury lawyers to find out how we can help you maximize your financial award.
At Injury Trial Lawyers, APC, we have been dedicated to helping injured victims in San Diego since 2004. Our aggressive strategies and perseverance have allowed us to recover millions on behalf of our injured clients. We know how devastating an unexpected injury can be and are here to help you fight for the money you deserve. Call us today to schedule your free consultation and learn more.