Most lawsuits over a personal injury such as brain injury are over an accidental event such as a brick falling on a person’s head or falls from height in construction. But in some instances such as a physical fight, the proximate cause may be intentional although the head and brain injury may not. Such cases involving physical contact that results in head and brain injury are considered assault or battery and may be subject to both civil and criminal litigation.
Both assault and battery are considered intentional torts, but they are separate offenses. An allegation of assault does not require physical contact, such as a threatening gesture. It is an act signifying imminent harm to the victim. Because there is no actual contact, assault can be hard to prove unless there is evidence of the act such as a witness or a recording of some type. Once there is offensive or harmful physical contact, however, that is considered battery.
It is not necessary for the defendant in a personal injury case to have direct or immediate contact with the victim to make it battery, or even for actual physical harm to result. If the defendant rigs a brick to fall on the victim’s head, for example, that is battery even if the brick misses. If head and brain injury results in this example then the costs to the defendant can be very high indeed. It is also not needed for assault and battery to take place in one instance. If the defendant throws a brick at the victim who is unaware of the intent, then that is battery but not also assault because there was no apprehension of imminent harm or danger. It could also be simply a threat to throw the brick but not actually throwing it, so it is just assault and not battery.
In most cases where there was little or no physical injury, a civil lawsuit may not be worth the time and expense because the assessed damages may be quite small. However, as pointed out in the website of the Disparti Law Group in Chicago, in a case of head and brain injury, there are considerable medical expenses involved that may only be reimbursed through civil court. If you sustained head and brain injury in a physical fight, you should consult with a personal injury lawyer at once.