Suffering Personal Injuries Due to a Physical Fight
With spring weather coinciding with crowds of people flocking to California’s patio and garden bars to watch the NCAA Basketball Tournament and other sporting events, the combination of alcohol, tension, and competing team loyalties can lead to verbal and even physical altercations. People often lose sight of the fact that there exists no perceived slight or indignity relating to an event in the sports world that is grounds for assaulting another person.
When flared tensions produce personal injuries or even emotional distress in some instances, there are consequences – in both the state’s criminal courts, and if a personal injury victim so choose, civil courts. If you have been injured in a physical altercation in a California bar or restaurant, whether as an intended victim or mere bystander, you possess the legal right to hold the at-fault party responsible for the harms that you have suffered.
Battery is Both a Crime and a Tort
Physical violence has long been codified into criminal and civil law. In the common law (the antecedent to American law), the tort of battery is a“harmful or offensive” intentional contact. Examples include a shove, punch, kick, grab, and inappropriate sexual contact (e.g. fondling). Importantly, in the context of battery in a bar or restaurant, the legal doctrine of “transferred intent” allows for liability for harm intended by a tortfeasor to one person to be transferred when another person (rather than intended victim) is harmed.
To make this legally dense terminology less abstract, imagine the scenario when, as a verbal dispute escalates, a punch is thrown by one man at another. Now imagine that the punch misses the intended victim and instead lands, viciously, on the face of an innocent bystander standing slightly to the left of the intended victim. The attacker might attempt to argue that he did not mean to punch the bystander. Under tort law, however, the doctrine of transferred intent steps in, treating the issue of intent broadly and generally (simple volition) and thereby holding the attacker liable for even inaccurate violence.
Types of Compensation Available to Battery Victims
On the criminal side, when a bar fight causes serious injuries, the batterer may be charged with the crime of battery causing serious bodily injury. Criminal punishment, however, is not the only consequence. The personal injury victim may seek legal damages for medical bills, pain and suffering, lost income due to missed work, and other losses. If you have suffered personal injuries from the physical violence of another, rely on an experienced Fremont personal injury attorney to assert your legal rights.