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Understanding Civil Assault and Battery

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IL injury lawyerYou have probably mostly heard the words “assault” and “battery” used in the context of criminal law. Both terms can apply to criminal offenses or civil causes of action. You may be less familiar with the concepts of civil assault and civil battery. The term “civil” here refers to the type of court overseeing a given legal action. It does not mean that anything about an assault or battery was what you would normally describe as “civil.” You should also know that after an assault and/or battery, the perpetrator may be criminally prosecuted and also sued in civil court by the victim. Assaults and batteries very commonly take place in bars and clubs, where people have been drinking and a minor dispute is more likely to escalate into violence. If you were injured after being intentionally attacked, you may be entitled to recover financial compensation from the person who hurt you.

What is a Civil Assault?

Assault means causing another person to believe that they are about to be physically harmed. Even if the assailant never makes physical contact with the victim and no physical harm occurs, an assault may still have taken place. For example, if you are in a verbal dispute at a bar and the other person dramatically breaks a beer bottle, then aims the sharp end at you as if preparing to stab you, that is typically an assault. It remains an assault even if the other individual then puts the broken bottle down and walks away without actually hurting you.

What is a Civil Battery?

A battery takes place when the attacker actually makes contact and causes physical harm. If, in the above example, the assailant actually does go on to strike you with the broken beer bottle, that would be a battery. You do not need to suffer serious bodily harm, but you will likely have a much easier time proving your case if your injury required medical attention.

How Do Battery and Assault Fit Together?

Often, a battery immediately follows an assault. If you see someone waving that broken bottle at you before he sticks you with it, then you have been both assaulted and battered. However, one can take place without the other. Most commonly, this happens in the form of an assault that does not turn into a battery.

However, a battery can happen without an assault taking place first. If instead of brandishing that broken bottle, the attacker simply sneaks up behind you and thwacks you with it, then you have clearly suffered a battery. However, because you did not anticipate the imminent battery, there was no assault.

Call an Illinois Assault and Battery Lawyer

If you were intentionally injured by another person, Quinn Law Group, LLC may be able to help you recover financial compensation. Our compassionate Park Ridge personal injury attorneys are dedicated to helping the victims of attacks in bars and elsewhere pursue damages in court. Contact us at 847-232-7180 for a free consultation.

 

Source:

https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/battery

 

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