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Stabbing Victim Defenses

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Stabbing Victim Lawsuit

In civil law, assault is an intentional act to create reasonable apprehension of harm in another person without their consent, while battery is the intentional act of causing an offensive, harmful touching of another. Both actions are done without the consent of the individual. A person who stabs another may be liable for committing both a battery and an assault against the stabbing victim. Additionally, that person may face criminal charges for assault and battery. Under criminal law, a person accused of stabbing another faces time in jail and/or fines.

Can I Sue the Person Who Stabbed Me?

Yes. Civil law and criminal law are two distinct bodies of law, and they are dealt with in two separate court systems. Criminal court requires the state to prosecute the defendant, and prove they committed the crime beyond a reasonable doubt, without involving the victim as a party in the case. In civil court, a stabbing victim is allowed to sue the defendant to get compensation for the injury that they caused the victim.

How Can I Prove the Defendant Is Liable for Stabbing Me?

In order to prove in civil court that the defendant has committed both a battery and an assault against them, stabbing victim must show:

  • The defendant actually touched the victim in an offensive or harmful manner, for which proof that they stabbed the victim would suffice.
  • The defendant intended to cause that harmful or offensive contact. In other words, the defendant intended to stab the victim.
  • The defendant caused the victim to feel reasonable apprehension of being harmed. Thus, if the defendant stabbed the victim without the victim know it until after the stabbing has occurred, it is unlikely that the defendant actually cause the victim to feel any apprehension of being harmed.
  • The defendant intended for the victim to feel reasonable apprehension of being harmed.
  • The victim never consented to the defendant threatening to stab them or actually stabbing them.

Will My Case Be Easier to Prove If the Defendant Was Convicted in a Criminal Case?

Yes. It is generally incredibly easy to win a civil lawsuit against the defendant in this situation if they are convicted of stabbing the victim in criminal court. The judge will look at the evidence of a conviction as the liability being met because the criminal conviction was determined at a higher level of proof than a civil case.

Does the Defendant Have Any Available Defenses?

Yes. The defendant can claim:

  • Consent: This refers to the stabbing victim giving permission to be stabbed.
  • Self-defense: The defendant stabbed the victim to protect themselves or another person.

Do I Need an Attorney If I Was the Victim of a Stabbing?

Yes, especially if the defendant is also being criminally charged for the stabbing. A personal injury attorney will explain your legal rights to sue the defendant.

Photo of page author Taelonnda Sewell

, LegalMatch Legal Writer

Last Modified: 01-11-2018 07:11 PM PST

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