If you are assaulted, you may suffer serious injuries that can negatively impact the quality of your life. Some people also lose their loved ones because of the intentional acts of others. If you have been injured or have lost your loved one because of the wrongful actions of another, it is important for you to speak to one of our experienced assault injury lawyers in San Jose. We can work to hold the perpetrator accountable for his or her actions and to recover damages to pay for your losses.
What constitutes an assault charge in California?
People often use the terms assault and battery to mean a situation in which one person causes intentional physical harm to another. The two terms actually mean two different things, and both of them are punishable as separate criminal offenses. An assault occurs when someone threatens another person with imminent physical harm in such a way that the victim is reasonably fearful that he or she will be harmed. A battery is the actual physical conduct that may follow the assault. Assault and battery may be punished under criminal law and may also form the basis of a civil lawsuit.
Common types of assault injuries
The type of assault and battery injuries that people might suffer will depend on whether a weapon is used. Common injuries might include the following types:
• Gunshot wounds
• Broken bones in the face and thoracic areas
• Lacerations or stab wounds
• Permanent scars
• Burns from chemicals
• Emotional or psychological harm
After a serious assault and battery, a victim may be left with permanently disabling injuries that might impact their qualities of life.
How often assault injuries happen
According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, there were 386.3 violent crimes committed in the U.S. in 2016 for every 100,000 people. Violent crime reports that were made to all agencies during 2016 totaled 1,217,400. In addition to violent crimes such as murder, aggravated battery, and sexual assaults, many more people suffer injuries in cases that could be prosecuted as misdemeanors.
How to find fault in an assault case
If you are injured after someone else assaults you, you might want to file a civil lawsuit against the perpetrator even if criminal charges have also been filed. This is because that prosecutors have a burden of proving criminal cases beyond a reasonable doubt, which is more difficult than the burden that is required of plaintiffs in civil cases. This means that you might be able to hold the perpetrator liable in a civil lawsuit even if he or she is found not guilty in the criminal case. To find fault in a civil battery case, you will be required to prove the following elements:
• The defendant physically contacted you or caused you to be physically contacted with the intent to harm you;
• You did not consent to the physical contact; and
• You were harmed by the physical contact.
Many civil tort claims of this nature include claims for both civil assault and civil battery since a battery almost always follows the assault. To prove a civil assault, you will need to show the following elements:
• The defendant threatened you with an imminent physical contact;
• You felt an apprehension that the physical harm was likely; and
• A reasonable person would have believed that the physical contact was likely to happen.
When to contact an assault injury attorney in San Jose
Under Cal. Civ. Code § 335.4, civil assault and battery claims must be filed within two years of the date of the injury or death that resulted. Civil cases may be filed against the defendants simultaneously with any pending criminal actions, so it is a good idea to contact an attorney early rather than waiting for the criminal matter to finish. To learn more about your potential claim, contact an experienced assault injury attorney in San Jose by calling our law firm.
Assault Injury | Birth Injury | Brain Injury | Burn Injury | Catastrophic Injury | Child Injury | Day Care Injury | Electrical Injury | Head Injury | Spinal Cord Injury | Sports Injury | Whiplash Injury