Assault lawsuits are complex and can bring about more than one kind of legal proceeding. While the police will pursue criminal charges, the victim can seek a civil lawsuit for assault against their alleged assaulter. In order to hold your attacker accountable for your personal injury claim, you will need the expertise and resources of an assault injury lawyer.
Sweet James and his team of leading California assault injury attorneys have the knowledge and proven success record that you will want on your side, fighting for you.
Was I Assaulted?
Being attacked, or feeling threatened, is never something anyone should have to experience. For an incident to be considered assault, an attempt or threat of bodily harm must be made.
In California, assault is defined per Penal Code 240: “an assault is an unlawful attempt, coupled with a present ability, to commit a violent injury on the person of another.”
In order for charges to be made in a simple assault case, these three factors must be present:
- The attacker, or defendant, must have acted in such a way that would cause a reasonable person to believe they would directly and probably use physical force against the alleged victim.
- The defendant acted willfully and deliberately.
- The defendant had the physical and mental ability to apply force to the alleged victim.
As a victim, your focus should be on healing, not confusing legal definitions. An experienced assault injury lawyer like Sweet James can help to determine if you have a personal injury claim that can be pursued, and what your next steps should be.
Is Battery The Same As Assault?
These two legal terms are similar and come from the same area of law, so they are easily confused. Though the terms are often used interchangeably, they are actually considered separate crimes under California law. To make it simple:
Assault: the intent and attempt to cause bodily harm.
Battery: the actual act of causing harm.
Assault often leads to battery, but they are separate charges. Both have their own set of penalties such as fines or jail time and are prosecuted separately under criminal law.
As a victim, you are not responsible for the violent acts of others. However, there are ways to try and protect yourself from assault injury. By being proactive you better your chances to avoid assault injury.
Assaults can be premeditated or happen unexpectedly in an instant. Here are some tips to avoid being assaulted and decrease your chances of being the victim of a crime:
- Be aware of your surroundings. By having situational awareness and recognizing any vulnerabilities you may have, you can think of a strategy to avoid any aggressors in the area the best you can.
- Report all suspicious persons and activity to the police or any other security team that patrols the area.
- Keep your doors locked – house, car, and office.
- If you are on a college campus, take note of the emergency call boxes on your route.
- Avoid dark areas.
- Stay away from unmaintained or unpatrolled areas.
- Avoid being alone after dark.
- Know that assault can happen anywhere, at any time, to anyone, by anyone.
- Always keep your cell phone charged and on your person.
- Trust your instincts. If something or someone does not seem right, go with your gut.
- Know that there is no absolute way to prevent assault, but prepare yourself as best you can.
If someone assaults you, contact Sweet James for a free evaluation of your case. Sweet James has your back.
Can I Sue For Assault?
Assault injury is considered personal injury. If you are assaulted, you can sue your alleged attacker with the help of an assault injury lawyer. In addition, for the civil lawsuit for assault to be considered valid by the court, it must be proven that the defendant committed an intentional act meant to cause harm. If you are in a situation where a person made you expect to be injured or touched in a harmful way, you can sue them for assault.
No actual touching is necessary in order to pursue a lawsuit. The apprehension or fear of imminent harm in response to a situation is all that is necessary in order for your experience to meet the California legal standard for assault injury.
Depending on the circumstances, a third party can be held responsible for your assault. If another party had a legal duty of care, meaning they had an obligation of care to avoid injuring you, and was negligent in upholding it, they may be culpable. This would include apartment owners who allowed an unsafe person to be your neighbor, an employer who forced you to work with an aggressor, or even a location that failed to employ competent security.
Assault injury lawyer Sweet James can advise you on who can be held legally liable for your assault claim, and whether you can sue for your injuries.
Civil Lawsuit for Assault Statute Of Limitations
After being assaulted, you have two years to pursue damages. According to California Code of Civil Procedure Section 335, you must file an assault injury claim within two years from the date of the intentional act. After the two years, your case cannot be pursued.
Assault Injury Lawsuit Settlements
If you are assaulted, you can file a civil lawsuit for assault for both compensatory damages and punitive damages. Compensatory damages compensate you for losses, and can be economic or non-economic. Punitive damages are meant as punishments.
Examples of losses you can recover for your injuries are:
- Medical bills
- Physical rehabilitation bills
- Psychological counseling
- Medication prescribed as a result of counseling
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Lost earning ability
- Emotional distress
How To Win A Civil Lawsuit for Assault
If you are the victim of assault, your best chances for winning your lawsuit and recovering from your losses in full is to file suit within the statute of limitations, with the guidance of one of California’s top leading assault injury lawyers, Sweet James. Above all, we believe you deserve the best legal protection. You do not deserve to suffer a moment longer, call him today at (800) 500-5200 and begin the healing process.