Lawsuits are often filed when someone has been injured. When that injury is not the result of an accident, but rather intentional, then it may fall under the label of an assault and battery. What these terms mean, and the difference between them, can be confusing. Specific laws may vary depending upon the state you live in, however, there are a few general principles that can clarify the issue.
An assault is a situation in which you are made to feel a real, immediate, and intentional threat, or even touched in a harmful way, from someone else. The biggest factor that tends to confuse people is the fact that actual physical contact does not need to be made. In fact, in many cases, all that’s necessary to establish assault is your belief in the imminent threat, as long as it’s reasonable under the circumstances. It’s the threat that actually matters.
Battery takes place when another person makes intentional, harmful, or offensive physical contact with you. Again, actual harm doesn’t need to have taken place. What’s important in this case is that a reasonable person under the same circumstances would have felt that the contact was offensive or inappropriate and that the person who made contact with you intended to do so.
Just as the severity of injury can vary greatly from case to case, so can the potential amount of any award or settlement.
Now that you know the basic definitions of assault and battery, if you feel that you may be the victim of this type of crime, your next step should be to consult a qualified attorney to determine if you do indeed have a case and to answer any questions you may have.
This article is contributed by Rommel who writes for R. David Ayers, Jr. – Personal Injury Attorney, a Winter Park,Florida based law firm that specializes in personal injury cases.