In personal injury law, civil assault does not require an attack or violence of any kind but rather the "attempt" of the act itself. Assault is more often defined as an intentional attempt to cause harm to others as well as the physical ability to provide this harm. Assault does not require touching but rather the purposeful attempt at causing bodily harm to others. Assault is both a crime and a tort so it is possible that someone facing assault charges could fave both civil and criminal repercussions. 

Elements of Civil Assault

In an assault case, the plaintiff will need to prove that the following conditions were present:

  • An intentional attempt to afflict injury/bodily harm against another
  • Apparent ability to cause this harm
  • Creation of reasonable apprehension in the victim (inciting fear)



Damages and Compensation

If a judge has ruled that assault was present then compensation for damages can be determined. There are different types of damages that apply to different case scenarios:

  • Compensatory Damages- Medical expenses for injuries that were sustained
  • Nominal Damages- The acknowledgment of the violation of the injured's rights 
  • Punitive Damages (sometimes awarded)- Penalizes and punishes the wrongdoer with expenses sometimes up to 3 times the amount than compensatory damages in an attempt to dissuade others from attempting similar assaults
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