If you have been injured due to an assault and battery, there may be two different types of claims against the person who injured you, criminal and civil. In a criminal case, the assailant may be prosecuted by the government. If the party is found guilty of assault and battery, he or she may be punished. Punishment may be imprisonment, probation, restitution or other types of punishment as determined by the court. Alternatively, in a civil claim for assault and battery, compensation for the victim’s injuries is the goal of the case, not punishment. As a victim, you may have a civil claim against the person who harmed you for damages sustained due to your injuries. If you succeed in your civil case, you may be awarded compensatory damages from the defendant.
Compensatory damages are intended to reimburse the plaintiff for wrongs done to him or her by the defendant. The court will consider the amount of medical costs, treatments costs, lost wages, loss of household services, the severity of the injury, pain and sufferings and other factors, when determining the amount of compensation due to the victim. Additionally, in some jurisdictions, punitive damages may also be awarded by the judge or jury. The intent of punitive damages is to punish the defendant (financially) for wrongs perpetrated on the plaintiff, in addition to compensatory damages. Punitive damages are not available in all jurisdictions and are awarded by fact finders (judge or jury) at their discretion, based on the facts of the case. It is important to speak to an attorney about pursuing a civil case for assault and/or battery and the types of damages that may be available in your jurisdiction.