I have heard many people throw the term of assault around to describe someone being physically abused. The purpose of this article is to describe what the civil tort of assault and the civil tort of battery are in plain language.
The legal definition of civil Assault is; an intentional act which causes a reasonable and imminent apprehension of a harmful or offensive contact which is un-consented. I know, it sounds like a bunch of gibberish.
Civil Assault basically boils down to this; if someone gets in your face and raises their hand as though they’re going to hit you, and ordinary people in a similar circumstance would believe the same thing, you have just been assaulted. Civil assault does not require or an actual touching, or physical contact to be legally actionable.
The legal definition of a Civil Battery is; an intentional act which causes a harmful or offensive contact which is un-consented. Yes I know, what does that mean?
Civil Battery basically boils down to this; if someone hits you, and you have not consented to being hit, you have just been battered.
In the civil realm, battery can take many forms. For instance, a battery can occur if someone intentionally hits or touches something that is connected to you. An example of this type of battery would be; let’s say you are holding a paper plate full of food, and someone hits the plate purposely to knock the food at of your hand; you have just been battered. Another example of this type of battery would be; let’s say you are sitting in your car and someone comes up and hits your car purposefully; you have just been battered.
I am not going to go into a dissertation on the multitude of possibilities here. The purpose of this article is just to describe an assault and battery is in plain language. So you now know that assault, and battery, are two separate torts. Each is a distinct and separate tort, which is a separate legal cause of action.
In the civil realm, you have a right to sue for assault and battery if you are the victim of these torts. With respect to damages, you are not only entitled to all damages proximately caused by your being assaulted and/or battered, and you may also be entitled to punitive damages.
Punitive damages are punishment damages. Many of you have heard the term punitive damages and do not know what it means. In civil law, punitive damages are ordinarily allowed by statute, or for common law torts involving intentional acts. Punitive damages are allowed for particularly egregious conduct.
If you believe you been the victim of an assault and battery in the state of California, you may call me for a free consultation at 818-584-8831 extension 1, or visit my website at www.thepersonalinjury.com.
If you believe that you been the victim of an assault and battery in a state other than California, I suggest that you consult with an attorney from that state to determine if you have a cause of action.
By Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq. , Copyright 2006