As a victim of assault and battery, you might think of filing criminal charges against the perpetrator. These actions, either together or individually, could also lead to an assault and battery civil suit. You have to consider the legal concept of intentional tort in such a case to determine whether you may be able to sue for civil damages. This article will explore these intricacies related to assault and battery to help you decide how to defend your rights and get the compensation you deserve.
What Is an Intentional Tort?
When you are claiming damages for injuries that occurred due to another’s fault, you must demonstrate that the other party was negligent. However, negligence is not the only basis for filing a civil lawsuit in such cases. If the other party carried out the act intentionally, which led to your injuries, you might have a case for an intentional tort, apart from a personal injury claim.
Any unjust action or civil wrong by someone, which results in your harm, can make the at-fault party liable for damages. The intentional tort will occur when the responsible party purposely performed a wrongful act. The law does not consider whether there was any intent or not to cause actual harm.
Key Elements of Assault
Here are a few key elements you need to prove for you to file an assault and battery civil claim in New Jersey:
- The defendant acted intentionally.
- The defendant had the intent to cause apprehension of harm or offensive contact.
- The action indeed resulted in the victim’s apprehension that harmful or offensive contact will occur.
Damages in an Assault Case
Any wrongful act, whether intentional or not, usually requires the actual occurrence of injury or damages of some kind to the victim to be actionable. Assault cases in New Jersey are no different. Under New Jersey assault and battery law, the victim may have a claim for damages, including medical costs incurred in treating physical injuries and loss of wages, as well as pain and suffering.
You may be able to claim the following damages in an assault and battery civil suit:
Economic damages aim to cover your financial costs associated with the assault. These damages typically include any current and future medical expenses, as well as rehabilitation, and any loss of income.
Non-economic damages include subjective damages such as pain and suffering, loss of companionship, and loss of enjoyment of life.
Punitive damages only aim to deliver an exemplary punishment to the assailant. These damages may manifest themselves only in exceptional circumstances where the assault was particularly egregious.
Should You File a Claim for Damages?
The sole objective of assault and battery civil claims is to obtain financial compensation from the perpetrator. However, you must assess whether the assailant has enough assets to make the civil lawsuit worthwhile. Winning monetary compensation in court is not the same as collecting it. Liability insurance does not cover assault and battery. It is best to consult with a seasoned New Jersey assault and battery lawyer to determine your legal options and obtain the maximum possible compensation.
Contact an Assault and Battery Attorney to Discuss Your Case
The Law Offices of James C. DeZao, P.A., brings the resources of a large firm to our small-firm setting. Our legal experts treat every case with a unique approach, and we will aggressively fight to ensure you recover the damages you deserve after an assault and battery. We also have bilingual staff available to speak to you. Take the first step in the right direction by calling our firm at 1-833-JIMHELPS or contacting us online.