Most injuries involve some sort of accident, even if that accident was caused by recklessness or negligence. In those cases, the individual injured may have a claim against the person responsible for their injuries, including medical bills, lost wages, or pain and suffering. However, some injuries are caused by intentional actions. When someone is injured because of an intentional harm, the act may constitute a criminal charge. However, the injured individual may still be able to seek damages for their injuries.
Injuries caused by intentional actions generally fall under tort law. A tort is a legal term for a wrongful act, failure to act, or infringement of an individual's rights. The law recognizes the harm done to the injured individual and allows them to seek compensation through a civil complaint. The injured individual can seek damages from the person who caused them physical harm or mental anguish. Intentionally caused injuries may also be eligible for punitive damages, which are intended to punish the person responsible and deter others from engaging in similar activity in the future.
There are many types of intentional torts that may give rise to a claim for damages. These actions may also constitute criminal actions. In many cases, a criminal injury may be first tried as a criminal case. The injured individual can then bring a civil case against the transgressor for money damages. The most common intentional torts include assault and battery, false imprisonment, defamation, trespass, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
While these torts may also be crimes, they are handled differently in a criminal court than in a civil court. In a criminal court, In a criminal prosecution, the case is brought by the government, acting as the plaintiff. Penalties include jail time, fines, or other court ordered penalties. However, in a civil court, the injured person files the claim as a plaintiff against the person who caused them harm. In a civil lawsuit, the plaintiff is generally seeking money damages for their physical and mental injuries.
The burden of proof also differs in civil cases and criminal cases. In a criminal case, the burden of proof is higher, generally requiring the judge or jury to find that the individual is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. If there is some doubt that the individual did not commit a crime, the jury may find them not guilty.
However, in a civil case, a jury is directed to base the case on a preponderance of the evidence. If it is more likely than not that the individual committed the act, they may be found guilty. This can lead to a situation where an individual is found not guilty in the criminal trial, while they are found guilty in a civil trial. Famously, O.J. Simpson was found not guilty of murder in a criminal trial, while he was found liable in the wrongful death and battery civil trial.
Assault and Battery
Assault and battery are among the most common intentional torts. Assault involves a threat or use of force that puts another person in fear of physical harm. Battery is the intentional, harmful or offensive contact with another person. If someone hits you, throws an object at you, or even pretends to strike you, you may have a claim against them for assault or battery.
False imprisonment is another intentional tort. Restraining another person or preventing them from leaving a location or situation may be considered false imprisonment. This could involve a security guard holding someone who they mistakenly suspected was shoplifting, or it may involve a domestic argument where one person prevents another person from leaving the room.
The victim in these situations may suffer physical harm at the hands of another person; however, not all injuries have to be physical. Emotional distress or mental anguish are injuries commonly suffered after an intentional tort. Without serious physical injuries, the person responsible for causing the harm may not take your claim seriously. Your attorney will be able to file a legal claim against the person responsible to hold them accountable and make sure you get the compensation you deserve.
Attorneys for Injuries Caused by Intentional Actions in DC
If you were injured due to the intentional actions of another person, you may have a claim for damages. The individual responsible for causing your injuries, harm, and distress should be held responsible for their actions. A personal injury claim can compensate you for your injuries and prevent others from having to suffer similar pain and distress in the future. Your personal injury attorney will help guide you through the legal process and make sure you get the compensation you deserve. Call Gilman & Bedigian today for a free consultation.