Assault & Battery | Personal Injury Lawyers & Attorneys
In the context of a personal injury lawsuit, if you are struck and injured by another person, this is considered a “battery”. In the civil or personal injury realm, assaults can also occur through intentional, reckless, or negligent actions.
Frequently Asked Questions about Assault & Battery
Our personal injury lawyers provide answers to some important questions below.
Yes. If you are injured because of an assault or battery, you can sue the person who caused your injuries. While criminal prosecution is designed to penalize the assailant for illegal actions, a victim of assault or battery can also file a lawsuit seeking money damages for the injuries that are suffered.
If you are the victim of an assault or battery you must prove that the person who struck you caused you to suffer an injury.
Also, depending on the situation, it may be necessary to prove that the person struck you:
- On purpose (intentional)
- Knowing they were likely to strike you, even that wasn’t their goal (reckless)
- Failed to realize they were likely to strike you, even though they should have (negligent)
You may seek reimbursement for medical expenses and lost wages as well as compensation for emotional and physical injuries – known as pain and suffering.
If you are injured because of an assault or battery, a personal injury lawyer can bring a claim against the person who injured you and his/her homeowners’ insurance, or other insurance carrier. To have viable lawsuit against the person who cause your injuries, he/she must have sufficient assets to pay for a verdict or settlement. Alternatively, if the injuries were unintended, unexpected, or negligently or recklessly caused, and if the assailant was insured, an insurance company will likely pay any settlement or verdict.
The New York State Office of Crime Victim Services may be able to offer immediate help with medical bills, lost wages and other expenses while a criminal or personal injury case is pending.
Your best bet at obtaining money for your injuries is for a personal injury lawyer to bring a claim against the defendant’s homeowners’ insurance or other insurance carrier. If the person who injured you is uninsured, your claim will only be successful if the defendant has the means to pay a settlement or jury award. If there is no insurance and the defendant has no assets, you may seek restitution for your out of pocket costs as part of a criminal action, or to seek assistance from the New York State Office of Crime Victim Services.
No. If someone assaults you and causes you injuries, you can sue the person who injured you. However, in order to recover money for your injuries, there needs to be either 1. An insurance policy that will pay for your damages, or 2. The defendant must have sufficient assets to pay a settlement or a judgment. If the defendant is uninsured and has no means to pay you for your injuries, it is likely not worth spending the time and money it will take to bring a claim against him.
Maybe. In most insurance policies there is a provision that excludes coverage for an intentional act. However, in New York, if the bodily injuries were unexpected, unintended, negligent, reckless or unforeseen, the insurance coverage may apply and would be liable to pay for the injuries caused by the defendant.
As an example of a case in New York, a college student jokingly pushed a 55-gallon drum from a window of a fraternity house that struck another student. The insurance carrier provided coverage because the student who pushed the drum out of the window did not expect that the drum would strike someone.
Under New York law an action for assault, battery, or other intentional conduct must be brought within one year of the injury. Therefore, it is important to talk to an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible after you are injured. For a negligent or reckless act, the statute of limitations is three years.
Maybe. On the one hand, a criminal case will trigger an immediate investigation so that all evidence will be preserved by the police. If the defendant who assaulted you is convicted in criminal court, that conviction can be used as proof in the personal injury case. However, if the defendant pleads guilty in the criminal case to an intentional act, and it is clear that the defendant caused you injuries that were expected, intended and foreseeable, there will likely be no insurance coverage available and likely no ability for you to recover any money from the defendant unless the defendant has the means to pay for a judgment or settlement.
Timeline of a Personal Injury Case
- If injured, when ready, contact a personal injury lawyer to determine if a claim can be pursued on your behalf
- Meet with a lawyer to discuss the incident
- Bring medical records or other relevant documents including an accident report if available
- Your lawyer will help you understand the process of a personal injury case
- Follow the doctors’ advice
- Go to all medical appointments
- Report all symptoms to doctors
- Take photos of injuries
- Tell lawyer anytime a new doctor is seen
- Determine how and why the injury occurred
- Speak with witnesses
- Obtain any investigative reports
- Obtain scene, vehicle and product photos, as applicable
- Obtain medical records and bills
- Consider all possible claims and theories of liability against any potential defendant
- Consult with experts
- Communicate and negotiate with the insurance company
- Obtain a settlement or pursue a lawsuit
- File a summons and complaint prior to the statute of limitations
- Serve the legal documents on the defendants
- Prepare and exchange evidence with the other lawyers in the case
- Conduct depositions of all relevant parties (also called EBTs)
- Defense medical examination conducted
- File motions (written applications) to the court if necessary
- Participate in arbitration or mediation if appropriate
- Determine liens if any
- Settle the case or proceed to trial
- You have the right to a trial by jury or by the judge who will act as both judge and jury
- At a trial, the injured person must prove it was more likely than not that the defendant was negligent and caused injuries
- The judge or jury will listen to all the evidence presented and the arguments by the lawyers, apply the facts to the law, and render a decision
Recent Verdicts & Settlements
Plaintiff, a roofing contractor, suffered a fractured skull, cervical spine fracture and fractured ribs after falling from a roof. The injuries left him with chronic pain and fatigue, limited tolerance for walking, lifting, or carrying and limitations in his hearing and vision.
Plaintiff was injured when a fork from a forklift truck fell on top of his left leg, severely fracturing the tibia and fibula, requiring numerous surgeries and resulting in a permanent, partial loss of use of his leg.
Federal Employers Liability Act/FELA
Plaintiff suffered a significant back injury while working for CSX.
Plaintiff was a passenger in a vehicle which went off the road and rolled over, causing him to suffer significant permanent injuries, including skull fracture; fractured mandible requiring surgical placement of plates and screws; facial fractures and lacerations; sternal fracture; spinal fractures; lacerations to spleen, liver and lung; multiple rib and toe fractures; tinnitus and hearing loss; post-traumatic stress disorder; facial scarring and numbness.
The infant plaintiff fell from a tractor being operated by a farm employee and was run over by the tractor. The 10-year-old boy suffered a femur fracture requiring surgery, multiple facial fractures requiring surgery, foot and toe fractures and loss of consciousness.
Plaintiff was assaulted outside of a bar in Saratoga and as a result suffered a traumatic brain injury, a fractured skull, brain swelling and brain bleeding, facial contusions and bleeding, as well as lacerations and bruises on his body. He also suffered from short and long term memory deficits and other cognitive deficits.
Plaintiff was an ironworker who was injured when he fell from a ladder, suffering fractures to both elbows resulting in permanent loss of strength and loss of range of motion in both arms. His impairment limited the number and types of employment opportunities and limited his future earning potential.
Plaintiff suffered two dislocated shoulders and a dislocated elbow after he was struck by a vehicle, which negligently swerved onto the shoulder and into the bike lane.
Plaintiff suffered injuries as a result of negligent monitoring of prescription medication.
Plaintiff, a 49-year-old man, was discharged from the hospital with critically low levels of potassium, which precipitated a fatal arrhythmia at home and subsequently caused his death. His family brought a claim against the hospital for medical negligence and wrongful death.
Nursing Home Negligence
An 87-year-old man was discharged from a local hospital on the afternoon of his death and returned to his assisted living facility. His health began to deteriorate throughout that evening; a nurse was told to check on him but never did. Facility staff found him unconscious on the floor in his room later that evening; paramedics were unable to revive him. It was claimed that the facility failed to obtain appropriate medical advice, assistance and treatment.
* Prior results do not guarantee future outcomes.
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