Assault and battery, two words frequently used in conjunction, are actually two separate offenses defined by state law. Assault is the threat of harm combined with the belief that the threat could be carried out. Assault does not require that actual physical contact be made or that the offender actually possess the ability to carry out the threat. Rather, it is enough that the victim believed that the threat could be carried out. For example, the act of pointing a realistic toy gun at someone may be considered assault even though the offender did not make contact with the victim, nor did he actually possess the ability to carry out the threat.
Battery, on the other hand, is the unlawful touching of another person either intentionally or knowingly and without legal justification. A victim does not need to be hurt in order for battery to have been committed; it is enough that physical contact was made in an insulting or provoking manner.
Although assault and battery are criminal offenses punishable by imprisonment, the acts are also considered intentional torts and a civil lawsuit may be brought by the victim to recover monetarily for his or her damages. The Chicago personal injury attorneys at Ankin Law Offices are highly-skilled litigators with considerable experience representing victims of intentional torts, such as defamation, sexual abuse, domestic abuse, assault/battery and fraud.
Common assault and battery offenses include:
• Bar fights
• Domestic violence
• Sexual assaults
• Altercations at sporting events, between neighbors or between students
• Police brutality
There are circumstances in which an assault or battery lawsuit may not be possible. For instance, if a player intentionally violates the rules of a physical contact sport, such as football, soccer or basketball, in such a way that causes physical injury to another person, it may not be possible to bring a lawsuit against the offending player. Similarly, it may not be possible to pursue a civil lawsuit for assault and/or battery in the case of lawful police action, the defense of other people or property and combat by mutual consent. On the other hand, the use of provocative language, regardless of how excessive, does not, create a justification for assault or battery.
Victims of assault and battery are frequently reluctant to come forward, but it is important to do so in order to obtain the necessary legal advice and seek the compensation that your deserve. The skilled Chicago-area assault and battery attorneys at Ankin Law Offices have represented numerous clients in personal injury and intentional tort lawsuits. Contact us today for a free consultation to discuss the ways in which we can help you.