If someone assaults you without justification, they might be arrested and charged. But did you know that assault and battery lawsuits can also be filed against the attacker, their employer, or a business that had a duty to protect you?
For example, when a bouncer at a nightclub attacks a patron without justification, is the nightclub also liable in a civil claim for assault and battery?
Below, we will take a look at civil claims for assault and battery/ assault and battery lawsuits in SC, including:
- When you can sue an individual or business for assault and battery,
- The elements of assault and battery civil claims,
- Examples of assault and battery lawsuits, and
- The types of damages available in assault and battery lawsuits.
Assault and Battery Civil Lawsuits: Personal Injury Lawyers in Conway, SC
If you are a crime victim or the victim of an assault, the Conway, SC personal injury lawyers at Johnny Gardner Law may be able to help you to hold accountable the attacker, their employer, or others responsible for the attack by filing an assault and battery civil lawsuit on your behalf.
Can You Sue for Assault and Battery?
Depending on the circumstances of your assault, you may have a civil claim in an assault and battery lawsuit against the attacker, their employer, or any other individual or business who is liable for the attack, including:
- The person who assaulted you,
- Persons who assisted the attacker,
- The attacker’s employer, if the assault happened in the course of their employment, or
- A hotel, department store, or other establishment if their negligence permitted the assault to happen.
Can You Get Restitution for Assault and Battery?
The person who assaulted you may be charged criminally, and the prosecutor’s office will be responsible for asking the court to order restitution if the attacker is convicted.
You will not get full and fair compensation through restitution, however, because:
- Restitution does not allow the full range of damages that you are entitled to in an assault and battery lawsuit,
- Many defendants do not have the resources to pay restitution, and, if they do pay, it will likely be in small increments over time, and
- Other individuals or businesses (with insurance policies) may also be liable in your civil claim for assault and battery.
If you are a victim of an assault, let the prosecutor handle the restitution for you, but call Johnny Gardner Law for a case evaluation to find out if you have an assault and battery lawsuit against the attacker and others.
What Kind of Proof Do You Need for Assault and Battery Lawsuits?
How do you prove a civil case for assault and battery?
There are three types of cases: 1) civil claims against the attacker, 2) civil claims against the attacker’s employer under the theory of respondeat superior, or 3) civil claims against the attacker’s employer or other businesses for negligently permitting the attack to happen.
Elements of Assault and Battery Civil Claims
Assault is an intentional act that threatens harm or causes fear of harm. For example, if I draw back my fist as if I’m about to strike you, or if I say, “I’m going to hit you,” I am committing assault.
Battery is when a person physically contacts you causing harm. If I punch, hit, or kick you, I am committing battery. If I draw back my fist or threaten to hurt you, and then I strike you, I have committed assault and battery.
Either is compensable as a civil cause of action, but, as a practical matter, most civil claims involve battery because you must also prove the damages that you suffered because of the assault and battery.
Failure to Protect
When a business has a duty to protect the public or their patrons, and they breach that duty, they may also be liable for a civil assault and battery claim. For example, a business may be negligent when they:
- Have inadequate security in place,
- Fail to adequately screen their employees,
- Have inadequate lighting in parking lots, stairwells, or other areas where a visitor could be assaulted,
- Fail to inspect and maintain their door locks or other security equipment, or
- Have security cameras or phones that are not working properly.
Employers are also responsible for the actions of their employees under the theory of “respondeat superior” when an employee hurts someone during the course and scope of their employment.
Employers have a duty to screen their employees, and “negligent hiring” could also be the basis of an assault and battery lawsuit when the employer failed to do a background check and negligently exposed the public to a violent individual.
In some cases, an employee’s assault and battery can be imputed to the employer when the danger of an assault should have been foreseen based on the employee’s job description – for example, when a bouncer at a nightclub uses excessive force to eject someone from the club or attacks a patron without justification.
Examples of Assault and Battery Lawsuits
In addition to the attacker themselves, businesses are sometimes liable in civil claims for assault and battery when:
- A delivery driver with a history of assault (that their employer should have known) attacks a customer,
- A nursing home employee assaults a resident of the facility,
- A bouncer attacks a patron without justification,
- A broken lock in a hotel allows someone to enter a hotel room and assault the occupant,
- A person is assaulted in a dark parking garage where there is no security,
- An attorney slaps a litigant in a civil deposition (that actually happened), or
- A daycare worker assaults a child they were supposed to be watching and protecting.
In other cases, you may not have a civil remedy – if your attacker does not have the resources to pay, and there is no employer or other business who was liable for the attack, you may be the victim of a wrong without a remedy.
Your personal injury lawyer in Conway, SC can help you by reviewing your case and determining 1) whether you have a viable assault and battery lawsuit and 2) whether there is a source of recovery for your damages.
Damages in Assault and Battery Lawsuits
The types of damages you can recover in a civil claim for assault and battery will be different from case to case, but may include:
- Medical expenses, including doctor’s bills, ER bills, ambulance costs, medications, medical equipment, and future medical expenses including long-term care if needed,
- The cost of repair or compensation for scarring and disfigurement,
- Emotional distress and mental anguish,
- Lost wages or lost future earning potential,
- Pain and suffering,
- Property damage, and
- Punitive damages.
Assault and Battery Personal Injury Lawyers in Conway, SC
If you are a victim of assault in Conway, SC, consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer immediately who can help you to gather the evidence you need to prove liability and damages, to settle your claim for full and fair compensation, and to try your case to a jury if the defendant or their insurance company doesn’t pay.
Call Johnny Gardner Law now at 843-248-7135 or send us an email through our website to find out how we can help.