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Understanding Assault and Battery

March 7, 2018

Oak Ridge Personal Injury Attorneys

Accidents caused by careless behavior constitute the vast majority of Oak Ride personal injury cases.  However, an intentional or wanton behavior is also actionable in civil court.  Assault and battery are common terms that are often misunderstood.  The Oak Ride personal injury attorneys at the offices of Bryan W. Crews will evaluate your claim for free and guide you through the process.

Assault and battery are not just criminal matters.  When someone attacks you or threatens to harm you, you have rights under the law and may seek compensation from the aggressor.  Regardless of whether criminal charges are filed.

Assault occurs when someone threatens bodily harm in a convincing manner.  To things must be present to prove assault.  First, the act must be intended to cause apprehension of imminent harmful or offensive contact.  Second, the act actually caused apprehension in the plaintiff of imminent harmful or offensive contact.  If someone threatens you, but it is unreasonable to believe that harm would occur, then there is no apprehension.  Words alone are not enough, they must be accompanied by some physical action or behavior.

Battery is an unwanted or offensive touching of another.  The contact must be intentional and non-consensual.  If consent is present, it is not a battery.  A battery can occur however slight the contact.  Even trite physical contact can constitute a battery if it is offensive and unwanted.  There are limits to this rule.  The most common exception is often referred to as the Crowded World Theory.  The theory states that reasonably necessary contact in everyday life is inevitable and must be accepted.  For example, bumping into someone in a crowded stairwell, however offensive, may technically meet the elements of battery, but will not actionable under law.

Assault and battery are terms that are usually used interchangeably.  As you can see, they are not the same thing.  Though they may occur at the same time, it is typically the resulting battery that becomes the basis for a lawsuit.  You may also recognize these terms from criminal proceedings.  The Oak Ridge personal injury attorneys at Bryan W. Crews will help you handle your civil claim, regardless of whether the prosecutor files charges.  You have a legal right to seek compensation for any injuries that result from an assault or battery.

March 9, 2018
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