In New York, launching a personal injury case over assault and battery is possible, even if no arrests were made, no trial took place, and no criminal conviction happened. The two legal actions are totally separate from one another. This type of case is known as an intentional tort, and it basically covers any instance in which someone’s willful behavior causes you an injury.
Furthermore, you can press a civil claim for damages even if the defendant is acquitted in criminal court. Just think about the OJ Simpson trial in 1995, which offers an excellent demonstrative case. The trial took place in Los Angeles, not New York, but the principle is nevertheless the same.
You can launch a personal injury case over any kind of assault, including a criminal attack, a bar fight, a domestic dispute, a mugging, police misconduct, or even a nightclub rager.
Standards of Proof
In a criminal case, the prosecution must prove that the defendant is guilty “beyond a reasonable doubt.”
This is a much stronger standard of evidence than you’d find in a civil trial, where one should prove the defendant is guilty based on a “preponderance of evidence.” That is, the defendant was more likely to have committed the assault than not.
Thus, personal injury cases can often provide an avenue for justice that won’t be present in the criminal courts.
What if the attacker doesn’t have any money?
Often, attackers can’t afford to pay damages on civil defense cases, and if no criminal trial or arrest occurs, it may be difficult to recover any money from the New York State Victim Compensation fund. Fortunately, there are often other options.
Often, it is possible to bring an assault personal injury case against bar owners, nightclub owners, landlords, schools, elder care facilities, and business owners.
We can hold a bar accountable if the bar served drinks to someone who was already visibly intoxicated, thus violating New York Dram Shop law.
We can hold a landlord or business owner accountable if they knew a security risk existed and failed to take any steps to address it.
School and elder care facilities often end up the defendants in an assault case when they allow their staff members to abuse their charges or fail to stop such behavior. These cases are, sadly, all too common.
If you were injured on the job, workers’ compensation law may also cover your case, and you can be compensated through a combination of workers’ compensation funds and funds from a third-party lawsuit.
What damages may you recover in an assault personal injury case?
You can recover the same damages you’d recover in any other case, including compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain, and suffering.
You should also treat the assault case like any other personal injury case. The mere fact that you were assaulted does not guarantee high levels of compensation. You’ll still need to take steps like documenting the impact the injuries are having on your life, seeking medical attention, following doctor’s orders, and reaching out to a personal injury firm like ours as quickly as possible.
You have a three-year statute of limitations on any personal injury case in New York, including an assault case. It’s usually advantageous to act faster than that to preserve your ability to obtain vital evidence that could have an impact on your case.
What’s the difference between assault and battery?
Assault happens when you are threatened with an injury, either verbally or non-verbally. Someone commits assault against you when they brandish a weapon at you, whether they touch you with that weapon or not. All that is required is a reasonable fear that you could have been harmed.
In a personal injury case, you’d have to show that this fear caused measurable damages. In some cases, this may mean showing the event caused you psychological harm that you had to pay to remedy. Seeking psychological counseling for PTSD would count, though unless you spent time in a psychological hospital, or spent an unusual amount of money on the care, or found yourself unable to return to work, school, or other normal activities, such a case wouldn’t be worth much.
Battery is essentially a successful assault. In a battery case, the defendant actually makes contact with you and causes harm. You can generally show your losses with hospital bills, photos of your injury, and hospital records showing how bad the injury was.
Get Help Today
Civil assault personal injury cases can become incredibly complex very quickly. Remember, no insurance company, corporation, or individual wants to pay you for your injuries, even if that is the right thing to do.
Hiring experienced personal injury attorneys like us can mean the difference between gaining compensation and losing it. Contact us today.