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Can You File Injury Claims After Being Physically Assaulted?

By Hess & Nghiem on May 15, 2024

If you were assaulted, you may be suffering from serious physical and psychological injuries. Assault is a criminal offense in California, and the person who attacked you may be facing heavy fines, jail time, and other penalties.

Even if the district attorney decides not to press charges, you still have the right to seek monetary damages from your attacker. Documenting the event and finding the right personal injury lawyer are two important steps for assault victims who require compensation to cover the cost of their medical bills and other expenses.

How Is Assault Defined in Santa Ana and Throughout California?

Assault charges in California are categorized into two main types: simple and aggravated. Simple assault is the attempt to commit a violent injury to another person without any aggravating factors, and it’s often prosecuted as a misdemeanor. Aggravated assault, on the other hand, involves circumstances that make the offense more severe, such as the use of a deadly weapon or the intent to commit serious bodily harm.

Aggravated assault is typically charged as a felony due to its potential to cause significant injury. When pursuing a personal injury claim, the severity of the assault will influence both the criminal charges the assailant faces and the compensation the victim may be entitled to recover in a civil action.

Bar fights, road rage, domestic disputes, and workplace disagreements are types of scenarios that may result in an assault injury claim or lawsuit. We often hear the phrase “assault and battery,” but in the context of California law, assault and battery are two distinct offenses. Battery entails actual physical contact or force applied to another person without their consent.

Filing a Successful Assault Claim or Lawsuit

To file a successful claim or lawsuit, the victim must have suffered actual damages, which can be physical, emotional, or financial. If you want to build a strong case, evidence is critical. This may include medical records, witness statements, and a police report. Each piece of evidence serves to reinforce the claim, highlighting the seriousness of the impact of the attack on the victim’s life and strengthening their case for compensation.

The effects of assault can be profound and long-lasting on victims, extending beyond physical injuries to psychological and emotional trauma. Victims may experience symptoms that include anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), all of which can hinder the victim’s ability to function in daily life.

Evaluating legal damages requires a comprehensive approach that considers not only immediate physical injuries but also the long-term emotional and psychological consequences of the assault. Damages for assault may include:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Medications
  • Emotional counseling
  • Reduced quality of life

Steps to Take If You Were the Victim of Assault

After an assault, taking swift action can significantly strengthen your legal case. The first step is seeking prompt medical attention. Even if injuries seem minor, your symptoms may worsen over time. Seeing your doctor also creates a documented link between the assault and your injuries, which can strengthen your claim.

Reporting the incident to law enforcement can lead to the collection of evidence that may support your claim. Documenting the assault and its aftermath is another key step. You’ll want to take photos of your injuries, gather contact information for witnesses, and keep a journal detailing the emotional and physical effects of the assault.

Several factors can influence the success of your personal injury claim after an assault. The quality and quantity of evidence available is often a determining factor, as it substantiates the assault and links it to your injuries. Witness testimonies, video footage, and medical reports can bolster your case.

When dealing with insurance companies after an assault, it’s important to understand that their primary goal is to minimize payouts. Be cautious when speaking with insurance adjusters because they may use your statements against you to reduce the value of your claim. It’s essential not to settle quickly or accept the first offer, which is often much lower than what you may be entitled to.

A personal injury attorney plays a pivotal role in navigating the complexities of an assault claim. They provide knowledge in evaluating the details of your case, advising you on the best legal strategy, and handling negotiations with the opposing party or their insurance company. Your attorney can help gather and analyze evidence, interview witnesses, and compile documentation that supports your claim.

Schedule Your Free Consultation with Our Santa Ana Personal Injury Lawyers

If you suffered serious injuries caused by another person’s violent or negligent behavior, contact HN Injury Lawyers in Santa Ana. Our exceptional trial attorneys have won over $100 million for our clients.

Firm partner Ed Hess has 30 years of litigation experience, having recovered over eight figures in verdicts and settlements for clients. Partner Phillip B. Nghiem is recognized by the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, and has been selected as a Rising Star by Super Lawyers Magazine.

Call (657) 333-5726 to speak with one of our experienced Santa Ana personal injury lawyers and learn more today. You won’t owe us anything unless we win you a payout.

Posted in: Personal Injury