While most people associate fighting with criminal charges, it's also possible to file a civil lawsuit against your assailant. Someone who hits you has likely committed battery against you. Fights can sometimes lead to serious injury, and by filing a civil lawsuit, you can potentially recover damages such as medical bills or lost wages. In order to understand more about the legal aspects at play in these types of cases and how to determine whether or not a lawsuit will be worth it, read on for more information about suing someone who hits you during a fight.
What Is Battery?
In a civil case, battery is a type of intentional tort where a person uses physical force against you and causes you harm as a result. When someone hits you, it's considered to be direct and intentional battery. Note that it's also considered battery if someone hits you accidentally during a fight, as the intent is considered transferred to you rather than to the one they meant to hit.
In most cases, there's an element of assault whenever battery is involved. Assault occurs whenever someone threatens you with a violent act. If your assailant made verbal threats or cocked their fist back in order to strike you, this can be considered assault. Typically, it's fairly easy to prove that someone who hit you committed both assault and battery against you.
However, self-defense can mitigate a claim of battery. If you instigated the fight, you'll likely have trouble collecting damages. The force used in self-defense needs to be proportional to the perceived threat, however. If you verbally threatened someone and they gravely injured you in response, then you may still have a case against them.
What Damages Can You Collect When Someone Hits You?
In these types of cases, medical bills are the most common form of damages collected. Getting hit by someone can have serious medical consequences — you may break bones or suffer a traumatic brain injury as a result. Any medical bills that arise from your treatment can be collected as part of the judgment.
Lost wages are also common. If you required a lengthy hospital stay after being hit and were unable to work for a long period of time, then you may have lost a significant amount of money during that period. You'll be able to recoup that money if your case is successful.
Should You Sue Someone That Hits You?
Unfortunately, it may not always be worth it to sue someone who hits you, even if you sustained serious injury. The problem with these cases is that you're suing another individual. Regardless of the damages you receive as part of the judgment, you may not see any of the money if the individual is unable to pay. If the person who hits you has no assets, then a lawsuit may not be worth it.
However, sometimes third parties can be brought into the lawsuit. Businesses have premises liability, which means that they have the duty to keep their place of business safe for all customers. If you can prove that the business created an unsafe environment for customers, you may be able to prove that they were negligent.
Additionally, employers also have the duty to keep employees safe while they're performing their jobs. If your employer put you in an unsafe situation and you were attacked by a customer, then you may be able to sue them for damages along with your assailant.
The best way to determine whether or not a lawsuit will be worth it is to contact a personal injury attorney in your area. They'll be able to determine if the location where the fight occurred can potentially be named in the lawsuit. Companies have a much greater ability to pay damages than the average person, so you have a better chance of recovering damages you win in a judgment.
If you were hit by someone and suffered injuries as a result, contact a personal injury attorney. After explaining the circumstances, your attorney will be able to determine whether or not going forward with a lawsuit would be the best course of action.
For more information, reach out to a local personal injury attorney today.