In Texas, criminal laws can work to punish people who attack others. While locking up the attacker in jail could be a form of justice, it may not help you with the pain and injuries they caused you. If you suffered serious injuries because someone attacked you or started a fight with you, you may be entitled to file a civil lawsuit against them in addition to any criminal charges.
For a free legal consultation on your assault injuries, contact The Queenan Law Firm today. Our Dallas assault injury lawyers represent victims of fights and physical assaults to help them determine what their case might be worth and file a lawsuit to seek compensation. For a free legal consultation on your assault injury case, contact our lawyers today at (817) 476-1797.
Suing for Assault and Battery in Texas
Under the Texas Penal Code, a perpetrator can be arrested, fined, and sent to jail for assault. However, this does not always help the victim, especially if they suffered injuries that needed medical attention or they are left with physical pain and mental suffering after the injury. In Texas, you do not need to rely on the police and criminal justice system to get the justice you need – you can also file a civil lawsuit against your assailant to get compensation for your injuries.
Many personal injury cases deal with accidental injury, but you can sue for intentional assault and battery injuries. In a civil lawsuit, you call these “torts” instead of “crimes,” and you can sue to have a jury find the assailant “liable” instead of “guilty.” If a jury does find your attacker liable for a tort like assault or battery, the court can order the attacker to pay you financial compensation for your injuries and the other results of their attack.
In many cases, the criminal justice system may try to pay you “restitution” to cover some of your injuries. This typically comes from a fund fueled by the defendant’s payments made as part of the criminal case, but restitution funds might not cover your needs fully. Talk to a lawyer about filing an independent lawsuit for your assault injuries. This lawsuit can be filed alongside any criminal charges and will be handled separately.
Proving Assault and Battery in a Texas Civil Lawsuit
The torts of “assault” and “battery” have distinct legal definitions that are different from the definition of certain crimes that might overlap with these torts. Typically, civil causes of action have much simpler definitions that you must meet to prove your case in court.
Assault, in a personal injury case, does not actually involve hitting anyone at all. Instead, assault is the act of putting someone in fear of being hit. This would include something like winding back a punch to scare someone or trying to hit them with a fist or an object and missing. As long as the victim was in fear that they would be hit and the actor had the ability to hit them, the victim can file a lawsuit for assault.
Battery covers the actual physical contact. To sue for battery, you must prove that the attacker intentionally caused harmful physical contact with you. This can apply whether you saw the attack coming or not.
In addition to strikes, punches, kicks, and other physical attacks, assault and battery charges can also apply to other cases of unwanted touching. This can include unwanted sexual touching, or simply any physical contact someone intentionally makes without your consent. In crowded public places like a concert or a packed train, some incidental touching might be permitted, but anything above and beyond the normal might be considered assault and battery.
Damages for Assault and Battery
In most lawsuits for assault and battery, there is some sort of injury to sue for. In addition to suing for the pain and suffering of the injury, you can also sue for the financial effects of the injury, such as medical bills and lost wages. Even if there is no injury, you may still be entitled to damages for the assault or battery.
The law authorizes a court to award damages for any harmful results stemming from an assault. In most injury cases, this includes damages for the physical pain that you experienced and the mental suffering associated with that pain. In addition, any medical care that you need should be paid for by the person who hit you. If you missed work because the injuries were severe enough, you can also seek damages for the lost wages.
If you did not suffer physical injuries from the assault or battery, you may still be entitled to damages. An assault case does not require physical contact at all, but you can still receive damages for the mental and emotional distress of being put in fear of being hit. If the battery did not cause injuries but made you upset or caused you to feel violated, you can also seek damages for these effects.
Call Our Dallas Assault and Fight Injury Lawyers for a Free Legal Consultation
If you or a loved one was injured in a fight or was assaulted by someone in the Dallas area, call our Dallas lawyers for victims of fights and assaults today. The Queenan Law Firm’s injury lawyers represent victims and their families and fight to get them compensation for their injuries and the other harms they faced from assault and battery. For your free legal consultation, call our law offices today at (817) 476-1797.