In addition to being the basis for a criminal case against an assailant, a claim for assault and battery are intentional torts that can serve as the basis for a civil case where the victim of an assault and/or battery sues the perpetrator for compensation for injuries and other damages that occur from the incident.
An assault is defined in law school as an intentional act that is meant to cause a person a reasonable apprehension of imminent and harmful contact. A battery is the actual physical and harmful contact with a person. Assault and battery often stem from one act, but one can occur without the other. In the real world, civil cases involving assault and battery can involve a wide range of conduct and a wide range of the severity of the injury. Assaults can occur at work, in a night club, or on the premises of a private property or a business. Leav & Steinberg handles serious cases of assault where a victim is in need of compensation for damages for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
The problem for the victim who needs compensation due to an assault arises when the perpetrator who caused serious injuries does not have the means to pay for their illegal conduct. They have no money, they have no insurance, but you still need to be made whole for your losses.
A claim for assault can be made against a perpetrator, but in some instances, the assault claim can extend beyond the perpetrator to an employer of the perpetrator based on repondeat superior, or sounding in negligent hiring, or a claim may exist based on negligent security against a property owner or business that allowed for the assault to occur.
Assault can be an extension of a premises injury case if the crime occurs due to negligent maintenance, or unsafe and dangerous conditions upon property owned by someone other than the victim. Property owners and businesses have a legal duty to provide a safe environment for individuals on their premises, including adequate lighting, well maintained locks, and security systems.
The most crucial stage in a case that involves an assault is the initial investigation. At Leav & Steinberg, our investigation turns up all available police reports, surveillance video footage, witness statements and first responder statements. When we are able to obtain these materials, we are able to build a case that is strong enough to obtain full and fair compensation for your injuries.
In one assault case that we were able to apply to a premises liability claim, Leav & Steinberg obtained a $850,000 settlement for a 28 years old man who was assaulted by staff at an Applebees in the Bronx. The bar staff and the manager had gotten into a verbal dispute with the client's friends and when asked to leave the manager, plaintiff alleged, called upon the kitchen staff to come and bring kitchen knives to help the situation. Our client left the restaurant but was followed and was assaulted by the kitchen staff outside of the restaurant. He sustained one stab wound to his arm that resulted in the loss of use of several fingers and limitations in grip strength of his non-dominant hand.