Have you been injured as the result of someone else’s actions? Have they touched you without permission, hit, attacked, or even threatened or attempted to hurt you? If yes, you undoubtedly feel violated and are probably wondering what legal rights you have.
Nobody wants to be the victim of an assault and battery. It’s a frightening situation to be placed in. Fortunately, if you find yourself in this position, there are ways for you to seek justice and possibly obtain compensation for both the monetary and mental/emotional damages you suffered. While money can not undue the pain and stress you’ve been forced to endure, you should be aware of the methods of compensation which you may be entitled to.
What is Assault? Have I been Assaulted?
Assault and battery cover a wide variety of acts in which someone causes, threatens, or attempts to cause someone else to suffer bodily harm. Whether or not an assault and battery has taken place is a legal determination. Speaking with a knowledgeable legal representative, such as can be found at Rankin & Rankin Law Firm, can help you to determine if you have been the victim of such a crime and have rights which deserve vindication.
What to Do If You Have Been or Think You May Have Been Assaulted
Without question, the first thing you should be concerned with after suffering a potential assault is your immediate health and safety. You should make sure that the threat is removed and promptly seek any necessary medical treatment. While health and safety are priority number one, you should also be sure to document everything and identify potential witnesses and evidence. Contacting the relevant authorities and filing a police report is something that should be seriously considered as well, as it can help to gather evidence for any pending criminal or civil trials.
How Can I Get Justice?
After making sure that you are O.K., your next thought is probably about what rights you have and how you can seek to hold your attacker accountable for their actions. The primary methods, although other routes may exist, are to press for the filing of criminal charges and/or to file a civil lawsuit.
The filing of criminal charges will require involving the police and a prosecutor to ascertain whether there is “probable cause” to arrest and then charge the individual responsible for your injury. Convictions for assault and battery in South Carolina range from the misdemeanor charge of third degree assault and battery (simple assault) which is punishable by a fine and/or up to 30 days imprisonment up to the most serious felony charge of assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature which is punishable by up to 20 years imprisonment.
A civil lawsuit provides victims of certain actions, such as assault and battery, the ability to hold the perpetrator financially liable for the damage they have caused. Unlike a criminal trial, which holds the defendant accountable to the State for violating the laws of the State, a civil trial seeks to hold the defendant accountable to you, the victim. A civil lawsuit can recover both economic damages (such as medical treatments and financial consequences like lost wages) and non-economic damages (such as mental and emotional distress) which were caused by the actions of the perpetrator. Additionally, civil lawsuits have the benefits of a lower burden of proof and giving the victim more control over the case.
Contact Us Today!
Do you believe that you may be the victim of an assault? We are here to help. Please contact us today to inquire about your rights and what methods of seeking justice are at your disposal. Click here to schedule a FREE CASE EVALUATION or call us at 843-248-2405.
Rankin and Rankin Law Firm is located in Conway, South Carolina and serves the entire Lowcountry area including Horry County, Myrtle Beach, Georgetown, Charleston, and Hilton Head, SC.