Typically, personal injury lawsuits stem from negligence. The liable party may have made a careless decision, which in turn resulted in the death or injury of another individual. Although these negligent acts are inexcusable, especially when someone else is harmed as a result, they are usually accidental. The negligent individual may have made a wrong choice, but they did not purposely want to hurt someone else. Intentional torts, on the other hand, are cases that result from someone purposely causing harm to another. This could be an act that wasn’t meant to go as far as it did (i.e. a prank that was meant to be harmless but instead resulted in serious injury), or it could be an act in which someone maliciously planned to hurt someone else.
When it comes to officially identifying and classifying what is considered an intentional tort, this can sometimes be complex, as it may vary by state and there may be various state laws that define intentional torts. Some examples of what could be classified as intentional torts may include, but not be limited to:
- Privacy invasion
- False imprisonment
- Sexual misconduct
- Use of excessive force in an arrest
- A breach of the fiduciary duty of loyalty
- Intentional trespass on real or personal property
These are just some of the many examples of what may be classified as intentional torts. Sometimes, there is a thin line between what is considered an accidental injury and intentional tort, because on the surface, two cases may appear almost identical. However, the defendant’s intentions may ultimately be what defines a case as an accident, or intentional. Let’s take a car accident as an example. Car accidents happen all the time and for different reasons. Sometimes, negligent drivers are to blame. They might be speeding or distracted while driving, and these negligent actions cause a devastating accident that kills another driver. While the negligent driver was certainly in the wrong and a lawsuit may result, he or she did not intend to or plan to kill anyone. An intentional tort involving a car accident, on the other hand, may involve a driver who intentionally kills someone else with their car. This could be an act of road rage, a planned action against someone they know personally, and so on. The bottom line is that in this case, it was not an accident, and the victim’s family may be able to pursue an intentional tort case.
Assault and Battery Lawsuit Settlements
In the context of personal injury law, “assault” and “battery” are intentional torts that can form the basis of a lawsuit in civil court. In a typical case, the victim of an assault and/or battery sues the offender, seeking compensation for injuries and other negative effects (“damages” in the language of the law) resulting from the incident. Cases involving assault and battery, however, are not always easy to prove and can take time, involve expert testimony, gathering of surveillance footage, and even third party witnesses to achieve a successful outcome.
One of the first steps in working towards a successful assault and battery case is making sure that the statute of limitations does not prevent the filing of the lawsuit. In many states, the statute of limitations for filing an assault and battery case is 2 years. If you don’t bring your case to court within the given statute of limitation then your rightful claim is barred permanently. If you are considering a lawsuit then it is essential that you speak to an attorney as soon as possible to properly file.
What is Needed to Prove in Order for me to Recover Compensation in the Event of Assault and Battery?
While “assault and battery” are words that are often said together, these are two separate concepts and your lawsuit seeking compensation might involve only one. The following explains some of the differences between the two:
What is Battery and How Can I Prove it?
If you have a battery case, you essentially need to prove that you were physically assaulted or attacked. In the most simple example, consider you are at a restaurant and you are punched in the face by another person. The act of getting punched is the act of battery. While it may be obvious to you that you were punched, keep in mind that in the area of law we will still need to prove that you were punched.
Evidence to prove that you were punched could include surveillance or documentation of the injuries resulting from the punch, including yours as a victim and your assailant’s as the offender. There is no such thing as too much documentation to prove that you were a victim of battery.
What is Assault and How Can I Prove it?
In a personal injury case, the tort of assault is an act that makes someone (the victim) expect that they were about to be hurt or, at least, touched in a potentially harmful way by the offender. It could be as a result of things such as verbal onslaught or a threatening posture by the offender. Because it involves the victim’s state of mind, it can be more challenging to prove than battery. However, you still have to prove the act by the offender (such as shouting or brandishing a weapon), which may be done by providing surveillance footage, audio recordings, or witness testimony.
What Compensation Can I Expect in the Event of an Assault and Battery Settlement?
Verdict and settlement amounts for assault and battery cases can vary greatly depending on the circumstances and even the location where it occurred. Each case is unique which contributes to the broad settlement amounts; however, consider the following elements that can contribute to your total compensation:
- Medical expenses and rehabilitation: Any medical expenses that you incurred as a result of the incident and on-going rehabilitation. Your compensation should also include future expenses, which would require that your doctor identify the ongoing treatment that you would need.
- Pain and suffering: This is a broad term and can impact your compensation a great deal as “pain and suffering” includes emotional trauma, depression, and even PTSD sustained from the event.
- Loss of Income and future loss of earnings: There is the immediate loss of income that you experienced from missing work as a result of your injuries but also keep in mind if a resulting injury prevents you from doing your job that you had prior to your incident then that shall be calculated into your compensation as well.
- Punitive damages: If the defendant acted with “malice,” then a court may also award you punitive damages. That may impact the final judgment amount as well as a potential settlement amount.
- Legal fees: Legal fees in an intentional tort case, such as assault and battery, are generally contingent on a successful outcome. If your case isn’t successful then you don’t owe the attorney anything.
If you choose to settle your claim, all of these factors could impact the amount of the settlement. Settlements can vary widely and the larger settlements are generally those where one has suffered significant injury and it is at a location (i.e. a store or hotel) where the management could have prevented the occurrence of the incident. This means that settlements could be in the tens of thousands, multiple six figures, or even multiple seven figures depending on the facts of your case.
Intentional Torts Can Result in Criminal Charges as Well
Because of the nature of many intentional tort cases, the majority of them are criminal cases as well, and the defendant may also be facing criminal charges as a direct result of their actions. In fact, out of all the different acts that may be classified as intentional torts, battery is the most common intentional tort. This can include any level of unwanted physical contact, including stabbings, shootings, use of aggressive force, assault, unwanted sexual conduct, and so on. There have also been reported cases of intentional torts involving doctors, but most of these cases actually involved battery, including physical harm and attacks, rather than scenarios that would be classified as medical malpractice.
Determining whether a specific case is accidental and would be classified as a standard personal injury lawsuit or an intentional tort can be somewhat complex at times, but your attorney will know the best course of action to take. If you are currently working with an attorney on an intentional tort lawsuit, you may have a lot of questions about how the process works, including how long it will take to finalize. After all, most plaintiffs are eager for the process to wrap up, and it can be easy to understand why. With intentional torts, many of these cases can be traumatic overall and can cause a significant amount of mental anguish, in addition to the physical pain that was inflicted.
Pre-Settlement Funding to Help You While You Await the Results of Your Intentional Torts Case
As your attorney works hard at finalizing your case, USClaims is standing by and ready to help you receive your money sooner with a lawsuit advance. Also known as pre-settlement funding, this is an option available to most plaintiffs, depending on the details of their specific case. The great thing about pre-settlement funding is that it can give plaintiffs the money they need to take care of bills and expenses, some of which may have resulted directly from the incident that led to the lawsuit to begin with. Essentially, it is the opportunity to receive settlement money sooner, rather than later. This gives your attorney the opportunity to concentrate on getting the best possible outcome for your lawsuit, while also giving you the money you need and without the wait. It is usually a win-win situation for everyone, and the best part is, you don’t owe us anything if your lawsuit ultimately doesn’t settle. Contact USClaims to learn more about the pre-settlement funding process and to get started!