Intentional Injury Laws

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 What Is a Personal Injury Claim?

A personal injury claim is a type of claim an individual may file if they are injured:

  • Physically;
  • Emotionally; or
  • Socially.

An individual may be able to recover damages if someone injures them by:

  • Hitting them;
  • Inflicting them with great emotional distress; or
  • Making false statements insulting them.

These damages may include:

  • Medical bills;
  • Therapy bills; or
  • Other expenses.

There are a large number of types of personal injury claims, including, but not limited to:

A personal injury claim typically seeks to ensure that the injured individual is fully compensated for any damage that the injured party may have suffered. The aim of personal injury compensation is to make the injured party whole again.

What Kind of Injury Does a Personal Injury Claim Involve?

Injuries may affect an individuals:

  • Emotional health;
  • Physical health; or
  • Both.

If an individual is involved in an accident, it may cause them emotional pain and anguish. Parts of an individual’s body may be physically injured, including limbs, organs, and other parts.

An individual’s injury in a personal injury claim does not have to manifest itself immediately. It may be something that develops over time.

Personal injury claims can be based on numerous different several types of events or accidents, including:

  • Accidents and injuries
  • Construction accidents;
  • Dog bites and animal attacks;
  • Defective products (class action);
  • Elder abuse;
  • Nursing home abuse;
  • Premises liability;
  • Product liability injury;
  • Toxic exposure (class action);
  • Unsafe drugs (class action); and
  • Wrongful death.

An accident may occur in many different ways and in many different situations.

What Are Intentional Injuries?

Intentional injuries arise when a defendant intentionally injures a plaintiff. They are the result of intentional torts.

An intentional tort describes an individual’s wrongful, intentional act. Some intentional torts may be perpetrated against property, for example, trespassing, there are also many intentional torts that involve wrongful acts against other individuals.

If an individual commits a battery, assault, or false imprisonment, they have intentionally caused harm to another. Unpermitted battery involves harmful or offensive contact with another.

An assault may be classified into two categories, an incomplete battery or an assault. An incomplete battery may occur when a third party intervenes and stops it, among other reasons.

If a defendant commits an assault, they place the plaintiff in an immediate state of fear of a harmful or offensive contact. This may be done by threatening to harm the individual immediately.

Assault and Battery Victims

As noted above, an assault occurs when an individual is paced in imminent fear of a physical injury. A battery is physical contact with another individual that the individual did not consent to.

It is important to note that each state has criminal statutes for assault and battery as well. This means that these acts can be the basis of a civil claim as well as criminal charges.

The defendant may face both civil fines and criminal punishment, such as jail time. Although both civil and criminal actions share similar legal elements, many criminal statutes vary the specific conduct and intent that is necessary to prosecute the actions as a crime.

For more information on issues related to assault and battery, see the following LegalMatch articles:

Dog Bites and Animal Attacks

Animal attacks and dog bites make up a unique category of tort because they typically do not involve any type of specific or initial act other than owning an animal. Owners of animals are still held liable for the actions of their animals.

For more information on issues related to animal attacks and dog bites, see the following LegalMatch articles:

Emotional Distress

Emotional distress involves wrongful conduct that is so outrageous and has such severe consequences, a court will allow a plaintiff to recover. This conduct may not involve physical touching, as with a battery.

Emotional distress is a complex issue, including several nuances outlined in the following LegalMatch articles:

Police Misconduct

Law enforcement officers are sworn to protect and serve and typically do. In some cases, however, one or a group of officers may act without regard to the laws.

For more information on how police misconduct is actionable below, see the following LegalMatch articles:

What Type of Damages Can You Recover in an Intentional Injury Claim?

Damages that may be awarded in an intentional injury claim are similar to those that may be awarded in a personal injury accident claim. A victim of an intentional tort may be entitled to money damages, just as a victim of other types of personal injury actions.

Intentional tort damages may include compensation for the following:

  • Past and future medical expenses;
  • Lost wages;
  • Loss of future income;
  • Household services;
  • Pain and suffering;
  • Emotional distress;
  • Loss of enjoyment of life;
  • Permanent disability; and
  • Disfigurement.

In some cases, a victim of an intentional tort may be able to recover punitive damages. Punitive damages are intended to punish the defendant and deter them from engaging in future similar wrongdoing.

An injured plaintiff who is able to prove that a defendant is liable for committing an intentional or negligent act will be entitled to compensation. There are two categories of damages a plaintiff can recover, including damages for the injury itself and damages for the consequences of the injury.

These categories of compensatory damages are called general damages and specific damages. General damages are awarded for the injury the individual suffered, including:

  • Pain and suffering;
  • Mental anguish; and
  • Trauma.

It is typically difficult to assign a monetary value to the general damages category. Typically, experts such as physicians or psychiatrists will be required to testify in order to assign a monetary value to these damages.

Special damages compensate the injured individual for the specific consequences of the injury. Specific consequences typically include medical expenses and loss of wages.

Specific monetary values can be assigned to items in the specific damages category. For example, if a pay stub shows an amount earned or a doctor bill shows a payment due, those amounts can be used to calculate a plaintiff’s losses associated with the injury.

Special damages are awarded to compensate a plaintiff for costs that their Medicare and Medicaid did not cover.

Seeking Legal Advice

If you have been injured or have a case involving any of the categories discussed above, it is in your best interests to consult with a personal injury lawyer. Your lawyer can advise you regarding the strengths and weaknesses of your case as well as advise you of the best course of action you can take to recover compensation.

These types of lawsuits may be time-sensitive so it is important to consult with an attorney as soon as possible.

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