Have You Been the Victim of Assault – 2021?

Victim of Assault

Have You Been the Victim of Assault? In most jurisdictions, assault is both a crime and a tort. In California, there is no statute defining civil assault, but only one that defines criminal assault. Generally, civil assault can be defined as the attempt or the threat to inflict instant harm on another person. It typically must be apparent that the assaulter has a present ability to inflict the harm that is threatened or attempted. However, courts will not find that only threatening words will amount to an assault. 

When it comes to civil assault, the defendant doesn’t need to have been charged or convicted of criminal assault to be found liable for the intentional tort of assault. The tort of assault is instead a civil action that is based on a person’s right to live without fear of being harmed being infringed upon by another person.

What Are the Elements of Assault? 

In order to find the defendant liable for assault in California, the plaintiff must prove the following elements by a preponderance of the evidence: 

  1. The defendant acted with the intent to cause harmful or offensive contact on the plaintiff, 
  2. The plaintiff had a reasonable belief that he was about to be touched in a harmful or offensive manner, 
  3. It was reasonably apparent that the defendant was about to carry out the threat, 
  4. There was no consent to the touching by the plaintiff,
  5. The plaintiff was harmed, and
  6. The defendant’s conduct was a substantial factor in bringing about harm to the plaintiff. 

What Damages Can Be Awarded in an Assault Claim?

The damages awarded in an assault claim include economic damages, non-economic damages, and punitive damages. 

Economic damages are those damages that are specific and measurable. They are meant to compensate the plaintiff for the quantifiable losses, as well as reimburse him for any out-of-pocket expenses that were a result of the assault. These damages include: 

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages and earnings
  • Costs related to damage to the plaintiff’s property

Non-economic damages are those damages that cannot be readily calculated based on bills and other expense documents. Instead, the court will attempt to determine the value of those losses. Non-economic damages include: 

  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish 
  • Loss of companionship and enjoyment of life
  • Disability 

Punitive damages are awarded to punish the defendant for his wrongdoing. In order to award punitive damages, a court must find by clear and convincing evidence that the defendant acted intentionally or recklessly with a conscious disregard of the plaintiff’s rights. 

What you do when you Victim of Assault?

If you were placed in a reasonable fear that you were about to be injured by another person, you might be the victim of an assault. Call the Los Angeles personal injury lawyers at Jahrmarkt & Associates to find out if you are entitled to compensation. Our lawyers will help you to understand the elements of assault and whether there may be any defenses which will make it difficult to bring a successful claim. Call (310) 226-7676 or visit our website to schedule a free consultation today.