When a personal injury is NOT assault and/or battery

There are three general situations when a personal injury intentionally caused by another might not be considered assault or battery.

The first instance of legal defense for the accusation of assault and battery is called privilege. This might be used by a law enforcement officer to answer the accusation in a personal injury lawsuit. If a suspect is injured during an arrest, and the officer used "reasonable and appropriate" force, privilege might be a legal defense for the officer's actions.

The second legal defense in an assault and/or battery case could be consent. In these situations, the injured party has agreed to physical contact or an activity that could lead to a personal injury. Examples of consent defenses usually involve physical harm from contact sports and activities with inherent danger such as parachuting, paintball events, and others. In these cases, the person has acknowledged the chance that they might be hurt.

The third situation where a legal defense might be used to answer an accusation of assault and/or battery falls under the self-defense or defense of others category. If a person responds reasonably to a harmful threat or action and the offender is injured, this could legally be considered self-defense (or defense of others if they were protecting another person). The key element in this situation is the whether the reaction/response was reasonable given the facts of the encounter.

In order to determine if you have a basis for an intentional tort lawsuit for assault and/or battery, speak with our experienced attorneys. Every situation is unique, and we will carefully review the details with you.

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