Victims of assault often suffer injuries that require medical attention. Depending on the severity of the assault and your injuries, you could incur financial expenses that you can’t pay, especially if your injuries prevent you from working.
If someone hits or assaults you, you absolutely can sue them for assault, even if they are not convicted of a crime in criminal court. You may be able to recover compensation for damages by filing a civil action, which a personal injury lawyer in New York can do on your behalf on Long Island or in the New York metro area.
- What Is the Difference Between Assault and Battery?
- Who Can You Sue for Assault?
- What Is the Burden of Proof in Assault Cases?
- How do You Sue Someone for Assault?
- How Much Time do You Have to File a Civil Action for Assault?
- Learn More About Suing Someone for Assault Today
What Is the Difference Between Assault and Battery?
Assault is any act that causes a person to fear bodily harm such as a verbal threat or threatening gesture, while battery is the act of making physical contact or hitting someone against their will.
You have the right to sue someone for assault and/or battery to recover compensation for damages such as medical bills, loss of income, rehabilitation, disability, and pain and suffering.
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Who Can You Sue for Assault?
You can sue anyone who could be liable for the assault and any subsequent injuries and financial losses you suffer, including the person who hit or assaulted you or a business or institution that had a duty to provide for your safety. This includes:
- Government agencies
- Shopping centers
- Retail stores
Property owners are responsible for providing a reasonably safe space for their guests or patrons. If you get hurt on someone else’s property due to negligent security, negligent hiring, or another form of negligence, you may have a case for compensation.
What Is the Burden of Proof in Assault Cases?
While the burden of proof is lower in a civil action than it is in a criminal action, it still rests upon you as the victim to meet the applicable burden. In an assault case, that would be proven by a preponderance of the evidence. In other words, it is more likely than not that the defendant committed the wrongful acts you allege. To prove the assault you will us evidence such as video footage, photographs, a police report, and witness statements.
It may be more challenging to prove that a property owner or business is liable for an assault against you on their premises. You must be able to prove negligence. For example, did the property have adequate security measures in place?
Establishing causation makes a difference in these kinds of cases, and expert witnesses may be able to dispute the liable party’s potential defense that the assault was not preventable even with adequate measures in place.
How do You Sue Someone for Assault?
While you are not required by law to hire a lawyer to sue someone for assaulting you, a Long Island personal injury lawyer will be able to handle your case on your behalf and guide your case through the legal process as well as even the playing field since the defendant will likely have legal representation.
Suing someone for assault involves the following steps:
- Filing a summons and complaint: You must file a complaint with the court to start a civil action against an individual, business, or institution. However, you do not have to press legal charges against the perpetrator, although the police will be able to write a report that could support your case if you do.
- Gathering evidence: You must be able to prove the perpetrator hit or assaulted you or that a property owner negligently failed to provide for your safety. Evidence in an assault case typically includes video footage, photographs, police reports, medical records, witness statements, and expert opinions.
- Sitting for depositions: You and the liable party will have to sit for depositions and answer questions under oath. Depositions are part of the discovery process. Your attorney will be present to ask questions, protect your rights, and provide advice.
- Going to trial: It could take time for your case to make it to trial. Even then it could take weeks or months for a resolution. A jury verdict will either be in your favor or the defendant’s.
You can agree to accept a settlement at any time during the process. We will negotiate an appropriate settlement with the liable party on your behalf and we will review the terms of a settlement agreement with you before you sign it. Once you sign a settlement agreement, your case ends and you won’t be able to seek additional compensation.
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How Much Time do You Have to File a Civil Action for Assault?
Assault and battery are forms of personal injury, which means a civil action would be a personal injury lawsuit. You only have a limited amount of time to file a personal injury lawsuit in New York We strongly recommend consulting with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible after suffering an assault or battery so your lawyer has time to investigate and gather evidence to build your case and to advise you of particulars of your time deadlines.
Our firm will meet all deadlines in your case, including the statute of limitations, so you won’t lose your right to file a civil action. If you do file criminal charges, you can file a lawsuit at the same time.
Learn More About Suing Someone for Assault Today
Assault and battery are serious crimes, and you could suffer injuries and financial damages that impact your quality of life. Our law firm routinely handles personal injury cases, and we will evaluate your case during a free consultation and answer your questions. We work on contingency so you have nothing to lose because you don’t pay us unless we win your case. Our case results speak for themselves.
A personal injury attorney from Friedman & Simon, L.L.P. is ready to discuss your case with you. Call for a free consultation to learn more about suing someone for assault or battery by contacting us today.