What is a battery? A battery is an intentional act by one person directed at another person. It is an offensive or harmful touching of another person and requires that either direct contact to the person or contact to something that is closely associated with the person occur. For example, a woman walks down the street and as she crosses paths with a man walking in her direction, he grabs her purse and starts to run. It would appear obvious that the man intentionally reached his arm forward to yank the purse from the woman. The woman would undoubtedly find it offensive that a complete stranger is grabbing something that is hanging off her shoulder, which is a part of her body – and, because the purse is hanging off her shoulder, it is closely associated to her.
An assault, on the other hand, is an intentional and reasonable apprehension of an imminent battery. For example, if a man was sitting in the driver’s side of his car and saw a woman throw a softball directly at his windshield, this would be an assault. This is because the man sees the woman make the motion of throwing the softball at his car, the woman releasing the softball, and the softball then flying in his direction. Because the man is sitting right behind the wheel, he has a reasonable apprehension that the softball could shatter the windshield and either the shards of a windshield or the softball would hit him – this would be an imminent battery.
Whether a person has been assaulted or a battery has been committed against a person, that victim may be entitled to both compensatory and punitive damages. To better understand and assess what damages you may sue for, it is best to seek an experienced personal injury lawyer so that you at least know where to start.
Authored by Scott D. McDonald, Esq.
Scott McDonald is a California native who graduated from Pepperdine Law School in 2008. He has been aggressively litigating cases in Personal Injury and Bankruptcy Law for nearly a decade. Mr. McDonald prides himself in being anything but a “typical” attorney. His unique and very personal approach to practicing law has helped numerous clients obtain their goals and get the legal relief they need.
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