Personal Injury Claims - Assault and Battery


     By L. Ty Wilson, PC

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Law Firm in Savannah: L. Ty Wilson, PC
In the event one person injures another in a violent and intentional manner, the victim may likely be entitled to compensation for pain & suffering, medical expenses, and damages suffered as a result of the injury.

While often treated as a single instance, in reality, “assault” and “battery” represent two individual but linked actions. Assault is defined as any threatening or intimidating action, which causes the victim to fear an imminent bodily injury. Battery is the physical act of injuring another person. The main distinction between assault and battery is the existence of harmful physical contact. The physical component negates “assault” although assault is commonly understood to involve subsequent bodily harm.

There are degrees of assault and battery (simple and aggravated) based on the nature and specific actions of the perpetrator. For instance, assault against a protected class of people (such as pregnant women or the elderly), assault in a public transportation vehicle or station, and domestic assault are treated more severely. Assault is raised to the level of a felony in cases where robbery, rape or murder is threatened while in possession of a weapon or firearm. Battery is subject to similar protected class modifiers and increased penalty if the injuries are particularly severe (permanently damaging or disfiguring).

Assault and battery, like other types of personal injury, is subject to both criminal and civil liability. The State of Georgia sets guidelines for criminal justice based on the facts of the specific case, and takes into consideration any mitigating circumstances (such as self-defense, or the defense of another person or property). In the event one person injures another in a violent and intentional manner, the victim is entitled to compensation for pain & suffering, medical expenses, and damages suffered as a result of the injury. Assault and battery is considered an “intentional tort” (distinguishing it from other types of personal injury, such as food poisoning or injury from a defective product or medication). Depending on the specific circumstances of the case, the claimant may be entitled to other forms of compensation, such as emotional distress, or punitive damages.

In determining fault for battery, the claimant must demonstrate that the perpetrating party caused bodily harm, without “privilege.” Privilege refers to specific circumstances in which the injury resulted in the context of some protected form of action. Consensual participation in a sporting event (as injuries are inherent to the activity), reasonable force employed by a police officer, force used in defending oneself from attack, and protection of property or a storefront are all regarded as actions taken with some form of “privilege.” In the absence of any privileged action on the part of the perpetrator, the victim of assault and battery has a reasonable expectation of compensation for injuries incurred.

The specifics of each assault and battery claim are different and should be discussed with an experienced personal injury attorney.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Ty Wilson
Ty is a personal injury lawyer with offices in Atlanta and Savannah. He is dedicated to helping the injured and the families of the injured as well as educating them. He has authored several books and reports, and he offers them to the public free of charge.

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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.



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