If someone threatened or attacked you, your life may never be the same again. You might be recovering from severe physical injuries and experiencing anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other mental issues. But you are not alone. An attorney for victims of assault and battery in Fort Lauderdale at Edwards Pottinger LLC is here to help you hold your attacker liable for your injuries.
Give us a call today to discuss your attack: 954-524-2820.
I Thought the Court Was Already Holding My Attacker Liable. Why Do I Need to Do Anything?
Because assault and battery are both forms of criminal activity, it is likely that your assailant will face criminal charges and stand trial in criminal court. If the state convicts him, he could face years in prison.
However, while you will likely sleep better at night knowing that your attacker is behind bars; criminal convictions usually do not provide financial support to the victim. This means that you might be stuck paying your injury costs out of pocket.
You can take matters into your own hands by filing a lawsuit against your attacker and demanding compensation for your losses.
Who Can I Sue?
The most obvious party to file suit against is the person who attacked you. However, you may also be able to sue a property or business owner for negligent security if the assault occurred on his property. If an attack occurs at work, you may be able to sue your employer for negligent hiring. Talk to one of our attorneys to make sure that you have named all the appropriate defendants in your lawsuit.
Filing a Battery Claim in Civil Court
To prove battery in civil court, our attorneys must establish the following elements by a preponderance of the evidence, as stated in Florida Statute § 784.03:
Harmful or Offensive Contact
We can establish this type of intentional contact without consent by proving that the defendant used force directly or indirectly. For example, if the assailant threw something at your head and hit you, that may still constitute battery even though the assailant did not touch you directly. Our attorneys will use photo or video evidence of the attack, as well as witness and expert testimony to establish this contact.
Intent to Touch
Intent to touch does not mean intent to harm. We simply must prove intent to touch you without your consent. If the assailant did not mean to injure you, but intended to cause you imminent apprehension with his actions, he can be liable if he ended up harming you.
A common misconception is that an assailant needs to cause physical injury to be liable for battery. Proving harm is easiest when there is actual evidence of physical injury. However, actual injury is not a requirement for a battery claim.
For example, spitting on the victim may not cause physical injury but is still offensive contact and can be battery.
Our attorneys will evaluate your case and determine whether your damages are enough to justify going forward with your legal claim.
Proving Assault in Civil Court
Many people are unaware that assault and battery are two separate offenses made up of different elements. To prove assault, our attorneys will have to establish:
Threat or Attempt to Injure
According to Florida Statute § 784.011, an assault occurs when the assailant intentionally verbally or physically threatens the victim with violence. Actual injury is not a requirement. We may use photographic and video evidence, social media posts, text messages, witness testimony, and other evidence to show that an assault occurred.
Intent to Cause Apprehension
We will also have to show that the assailant intended to act in a manner which would cause you reasonable apprehension of harm. In some cases, this is obvious. For example, if the attacker holds a gun to your head, courts can infer the attacker’s intent to cause apprehension.
Causes Reasonable Apprehension of Harm
Next, we will have to prove that the attacker caused you to have reasonable apprehension of the harm. We can establish this by showing that a reasonable person would also be apprehensive in similar circumstances.
Has Apparent Ability
Unkind words are not enough to constitute an assault. Our attorneys must show that the person who committed the assault had an imminent, apparent ability to follow through with the threat. We will use photo evidence, witness testimony, expert testimony, and other forms of evidence to prove this.
What Kind of Damages Can I Recover?
If another party attacked or threatened you, you deserve compensation for what you have gone through. If your civil claim is successful, you may receive compensation for:
Medical expenses you incurred as a result of the attack
Future medical expenses for anticipated surgeries, rehabilitation, and other treatments
Lost wages for the days of work you missed because of the incident
Pain and suffering
Get Help Today
Assault and battery victims in Fort Lauderdale have experienced something that no one should ever have to go through. While we cannot change the past, we can help change your future. Our attorneys have represented victims of various forms of physical assault including people that have been mugged, raped, and beaten.
For more information on how the attorneys at Edwards Pottinger LLC can assist you with your civil assault or battery claim, call 954-524-2820.