How a Civil Assault Claim Can Get You Compensated for Your Injuries

If you have injuries stemming from an assault and battery, you deserve to have justice served. This may come in the form of a criminal or civil trial against the person who assaulted you. The goal of filing criminal assault charges is to put your assailant on trial, get them off of the street, and put them in prison.

Conversely, a civil assault claim is intended to get compensation for the injuries of the victim. As the victim of an assault, you very well may have a valid civil claim against the assailant. If you win your case, the defendant will have to pay you for the damages he or she caused.

Here are some ways you can increase your odds of being compensated for your injuries and ensure that justice is served in some small way.

Proving Your Case

To win any lawsuit, you need to do one thing: Prove your case. Civil assault claims are no different, and there are many ways to go about doing it. With that in mind, let's discuss a few types of documentation and other evidence that are central to almost every civil assault claim.

Incident or arrest reports. If you've been assaulted, it should be reported to the police as soon as possible. Sometimes, in cases where there are no eyewitnesses to what happened, criminal charges are never even filed. Even in these instances, incident and police reports can prove invaluable when it's time for your case to go to trial. 

Complete medical records. The sooner you seek medical attention after an attack, the better. In fact, it's best to seek medical attention immediately after the incident, even if you don't feel like you're badly injured. Your medical records are a crucial piece of documentation for proving your assault and battery claim, and play a role in determining damages, as well.

Eyewitnesses. It's not surprising that many assault and battery cases hinge on whether or not any outside parties saw what actually happened. A good eyewitness can prove that you were, in fact, the victim, and that you didn't contribute to the incident which led to your injuries.

Implicating the plaintiff in the incident by calling into question their level of involvement is the most common defense against assault and battery claims. Eliminating this defense can go a long ways toward proving your case.

How Damages Are Determined

If you are the victim of an assault, it costs you in many ways. Some of these costs are very clear-cut, while others are not so easy to calculate. Everything from medical bills to lost wages to the cost of your mental anguish should be taken into account.

Medical bills. The most obvious type of damages are your medical costs, which should include not only your hospital or doctor bills, but also the cost of physical therapy, personal care, and any additional medical-related expenses.

Lost wages. If your ability to work has been affected by an assault, you need to account for lost wages in your claim. This includes the work time lost due to your actual injuries, seeking medical care, or going to physical therapy.

Pain and suffering. Mental distress and mental anguish are among the many types of pain and suffering that you can include in your claim. Predictably, any talk of pain and suffering brings out more than a few eye-rolls and shakes of the head.

In many cases, those reactions are understandable, but, if you've ever been the victim of an assault, you know that the damage is far deeper than your medical bills and the wages you lost from time off at work.

In extreme cases, the pain and suffering of an assault can be felt in the form of sleepless nights, nightmares, paranoia, and the loss of the ability to trust people. This is why pain and suffering is considered such a fundamental part of many civil assault cases.

While the definitions of assault and battery may vary from place to place, the devastation it can cause is the same no matter where you are. A significant factor when determining the monetary damage that you should recover is the severity of the injuries you suffered as a result of the assault.

In a perfect world, anyone who commits assault would be held accountable in a criminal trial and, ultimately, end up in prison. We all know the world is not perfect, but that doesn't mean that someone who injures you should not be held accountable for what they did, even if it's just in the form of a successful civil assault claim.

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