Most personal injury lawsuits are the result of negligence and unintentional torts. Indeed, a person, without having any intent to cause harm, does something that’s unsafe, unreasonable, or lacks care, such as using their cellphone while driving or failing to repair a dangerous condition on their property. As a result of this negligence, another person is harmed – the injured party then maintains the right to bring forth a negligence-based personal injury suit.

But what are an injured person’s rights in the event that they are harmed by an intentional action executed by the defendant? For example, if you are a victim of assault and battery, can you file a personal injury lawsuit for damages?

Assault and Battery: Criminal vs. Civil Charges

Assault and battery is a crime in Massachusetts, and a person who commits assault and battery may face criminal charges. If convicted, criminal charges will result in criminal, not civil, penalties, including the potential of a large fine, jail time, and a mark on one’s criminal record. 

While a criminal conviction will certainly have consequences on a defendant’s life, it will not yield any form of compensation for the victim of the defendant’s crime. Instead, in order to recover monetary compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and noneconomic losses suffered, a victim must file a personal injury claim against the defendant. 

Filing a Personal Injury Claim for Assault and Battery in Boston

When an assault and battery incident leads to serious injuries, hospitalization, and medical intervention, filing a personal injury claim may be the only way for the victim of the incident to recover compensation for their harm. Unlike most personal injury claims where the plaintiff is required to prove that the defendant breached the duty of care owed to the plaintiff via an act of negligence, an assault and battery claim is a type of intentional tort case. As such, the plaintiff will need to prove that the defendant took an intentional action, that the intention of this action was to cause harm or fear or harm, and that you suffered harm (or fear of harm) as a direct result. You will also need to prove the extent of damages that you have suffered, including the value of your medical bills, lost wages, pain, suffering, emotional distress, etc.

Statute of Limitations for Assault Cases in Massachusetts

The statute of limitations for civil assault cases in Massachusetts is the same as it is for standard personal injury claims: three years. This means that you have three years from the date that the alleged act of assault took place to file your civil action.

Our Lawyers Can Help

At the law office of Lovenberg & Associates, P.C., our Massachusetts personal injury lawyers can help you if you are the victim of assault and have suffered serious losses as such. Remember, even if the person who caused you harm faces criminal charges, the outcome of a criminal case won’t yield any monetary compensation for your injuries; instead, you’ll need to file a personal injury claim for damages.

To learn more about how we can help and your rights under the law, call our Boston personal injury lawyers at (617) 973-9950 to request your free consultation.