Each and every one of us has the right to carry on without being hurt by an individual’s intentional infliction of bodily or emotional harm. When malicious individuals commit assault and battery on innocent people, the law gives victims legal recourse to hold wrongdoers accountable.
Victims can sue offenders to recover compensation for the injuries they have suffered. While assault and battery claims often stem from the same incident, there is a legal distinction between the two that victims should understand. Depending on the situation, plaintiffs may bring claims for either assault or battery or both.
What is the legal definition of assault?
California assault laws defines assault as an attempt to inflict an injury on a another person. This can include attempting to make physical contact by taking a swing or making the intended victim feel as though they are in immediate danger of being harmed.
To this end, verbal threats may also constitute assault if a reasonable person would believe the assailant was going to act on the threat. Other examples of assault may include:
- Sexual harassment
- Verbal threats
- Physical assault
- Sexual assault
- Assault with a deadly weapon
Definition of Battery in California
California law holds that battery is any non consensual or offensive physical contact that is intentional. Battery is essentially the completion of an assault. Victims do not necessarily need to suffer a physical injury for the incident to be considered battery.
Sexual battery in particular is any nonconsensual contact with another’s genitals or intimate areas for the purpose of sexual arousal or gratification. Courts take these kinds of battery very seriously and give victims the legal remedy to hold wrongdoers accountable.
Holding third parties accountable
Assault and battery victims may be able to hold other parties accountable for their damages. Properties such as apartment complexes, bars, and clubs owe patrons and residents a duty to take reasonable safety measures to prevent assaults and other types of crime.
Why file assault and battery lawsuits?
While confronting one’s accuser in court may be difficult to think about, victims may hold their assailants accountable through civil actions. Benefits of filing a civil suit over waiting for criminal charges include:
- Greater control over the case since the victim may hire their own lawyer to bring claims
- Ability to receive financial compensation for pain and suffering and medical expenses
- Getting justice by having a own day in court
- Putting others on notice those types of crimes are not acceptable, such as property owners who fail to provide adequate security to residents and invited guests
San Francisco assault and battery attorneys
If you or a loved one was the victim of assault and/or battery, you should strongly consider speaking to a qualified San Francisco assault and battery attorney about your case. Attorneys can gather evidence and prepare clams to help you recover damages for lost wages, hospital bills, and emotional and physical pain and suffering.