Personal Injury Assault Attorney
Assault, as a broad term, is defined as “the crime or tort of threatening or attempting to inflict immediate offensive physical contact or bodily harm that one has the present ability to inflict and that puts the victim in fear of such harm or contact compared battery” and/or “the crime of assault accompanied by battery.”
A civil personal injury assault is an assault considered as a tort – aka a wrongful action or infringement of a right – rather than as a crime. This effectively means that not all threats are considered to be assault.
In order for a plaintiff to be able to file an assault personal injury lawsuit, the following three elements must be present:
- The perpetrator made a threat and/or attempted to cause you physical harm
- The perpetrator had the ability to cause you physical harm at that moment
- You had a reasonable fear that you would be harmed by the perpetrator’s threat and/or attempt
Another common misconception is that assault necessitates a physical act – indeed, it can just be words. Take element #1 above: if someone says they are going to physically harm you, and their physical action(s) indicate that they are able to carry out the threat they are saying, they have committed the assault – even though they haven’t touched you physically.
The Bottom Line: Intent and Apprehension
In personal injury assault lawsuits, one of the main requirements is always intent. Did the perpetrator deliberately, and unjustifiably, interfere with another person’s right or liberty in a way that causes harm? Civil personal injury law determines that intent was established if someone is substantially certain that consequences would have taken place due to this interference – whether those consequences were intended to take place or not.
Apprehension of Imminent Harm
In personal injury assault lawsuits, the other main requirement is an apprehension of imminent harm – whether that harm is an injury or offensive contact. Apprehension here is defined not as fear, but rather as the awareness that a reasonable person has that an injury or offensive contact is coming – that it is imminent. Although this may sound simple to prove, there are certain nuances to the apprehension of imminent harm, which include:
- The fact that reasonable people have different levels of apprehension depending on the situation – I.e. children and adults have different levels of apprehension
- The fact that assault can only be applied if the reasonable person knew of the threat of harm – I.e. if someone points a gun at a person who is sleeping, the gunman has not committed assault because the sleeping person does not know that any threat of harm has been made
- The fact that the threat of harm must be imminent – a threat made in the future is not an assault; assault necessitates an imminent or impending threat of harm.
So, How Long Do You Have to Report an Assault?
In New York, the Statute of Limitations for an assault claim is 1 year. Where this timeline may differ, however, is if you file a different type of action. For example, if you decide that the reason why you suffered from a personal injury is because of someone else’s negligence, then you will file a negligent security claim – which has a statute of limitations of 3 years.
Contact us today for a free consultation from our experienced injury attorneys.
NYC Assault by Government Officials
Successfully sued NYC on multiple occasions for various assaults by government officials.
NYC School Negligence
Successfully sued a NYC school for failing to prevent a fight between students that caused one student to be stabbed in the stomach.
Successfully represented a patron of a restaurant bar that was assaulted by an intoxicated restaurant guest in the Bronx, New York. A lawsuit was successfully brought against both the defendant who caused the assault as well as the restaurant bar.
Successfully represented a client who was dining at a popular Hamptons club when they were involved in a physical altercation with other guests. We were able to secure a $17,500 settlement after the initial letter was sent on behalf of our client.