Posted on Tuesday, January 10th, 2023 at 11:44 pm
Someone who is the victim of an assault often suffers a traumatic experience. Victims can have psychological trauma that affects their emotional well-being. This can have debilitating, life-changing consequences.
If you suffered an injury because you were the victim of an assault, you are entitled to seek compensation for your emotional, mental, and psychological injuries. Call Wallace Miller for a free consultation to learn how we can help you recover compensation for your injuries.
What is assault
Under Illinois law, an act of assault is treated as a criminal offense. Tort law classifies the wrongful act of assault as an intentional tort. Torts are civil wrongs for which you can seek compensation in a personal injury lawsuit. If someone assaulted you, they may face criminal charges, but you can also seek compensation from them with a civil lawsuit.
In Illinois, a person commits an assault when they knowingly engage in conduct that places another person in reasonable fear of receiving some offensive physical contact or bodily harm. Neither the tort nor the crime of assault involves bodily contact. Therefore, an assault alone doesn’t cause physical injury.
While “assault” and “battery” are often used interchangeably, they are different wrongful actions. For example, if someone yells a threat, shakes their fist in your face, and then walks away, they have likely committed an assault. It depends on whether this threat placed you in reasonable fear of physical contact or harm. If so, you were the victim of an assault.
If someone yells a threat, walks towards you menacingly, and hits you in your face, they have also committed battery. In this circumstance, an assault usually accompanies a battery, and the assailant is liable for the injuries caused by both actions.
An assault can be a traumatic event in a person’s life. It can leave emotional scars with long-term consequences that affect your quality of life, but also the quality of life of loved ones. You are entitled to pursue compensation for these devastating losses.
Types of assault
Regarding intentional torts, you may file a lawsuit seeking compensation for more than one type of assault. A person can file suit based on the example above, where someone shook a fist in their face. They may also file an intentional tort lawsuit if they are the victim of sexual assault. Sexual assault is also a crime. However, it may encompass the intentional torts of assault and battery, among others. If you were the victim of one of the types of criminal assault below, you might also file an intentional tort lawsuit.
- Simple assault. Assault is an act that puts another person in reasonable apprehension or fear of receiving a battery.
- Aggravated assault (location of the assault). An assault is elevated to an aggravated assault if committed in a public place, sports venue, church, synagogue, mosque, or other sites used for religious worship.
- Aggravated assault (status of the victim). An assault is elevated to an aggravated assault if the victim performs a specific occupation. These include but are not limited to teachers, police officers, firefighters, state employees, sports officials, process servers, and correctional officers. The wrongful act is also elevated to an aggravated assault if the victim has a physical disability or is age 60 or over.
- Aggravated assault (use of firearm, device, or motor vehicle). An assault is elevated to an aggravated assault if the assailant uses certain devices like a gun or mask to cause fear or apprehension.
Compensation for assault
If you suffer any of the following losses because of an assault, you are entitled to seek compensation for emotional, mental, or psychological injuries.
Proving assault in a case
To prove civil liability for an assault in Illinois, you must show that the defendant committed an intentional act directed at you that causes you reasonable apprehension of imminent, offensive contact. An attorney can help you seek compensation for your injuries by:
- Gathering evidence, including any statements of witnesses to the assault, video evidence, and police reports
- Filing your lawsuit on time and handling other legal details
- Advocating for you in court
Hiring a lawyer for your assault case
Our skilled attorneys want to help you seek the justice and compensation you deserve. Wallace Miller is committed to helping our clients achieve the best possible result in any legal matter. If you were the victim of assault in Illinois, call Wallace Miller at (312) 261-6193 for your free consultation.