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A criminal lawsuit is filed by the state against the defendant and can result in penal sentencing or fines.

A civil lawsuit is filed by a plaintiff against the defendant and can result in monetary award paid by the defendant to the plaintiff.

An intentional tort is a type of lawsuit brought against a defendant for taking tortious action against a plaintiff resulting in injury, property damages, or other losses.

If you or a loved one was the victim of a tortious act that resulted in injury, property damage, financial loss, or other damages, you may qualify to file an intentional tort lawsuit and should consider hiring an Edwardsville assault lawyer to represent your interests in court.

Victim Right to Legal Action for Tort

After an assault, you may be feeling hurt, overwhelmed, at-risk, or violated, all of which are warranted feelings. Taking the steps to move forward may seem overwhelming, but rest assured, TorHoerman Law is here to help you take the steps in the right direction.

While a criminal trial can hold the perpetrator accountable for their actions which could result in fines or imprisonment, you, as the victim, may feel jaded. What about the medical bills that racked up from treatment and recovery? Or how will you pay for a counselor to help you move forward? What about the emotional distress and pain you are still feeling?

An assault lawsuit, pursued in a civil court, can help you recover the damages you suffered through compensation. An Edwardsville assault attorney can provide legal representation and help you receive the compensation you deserve.

Were you the victim of an intentional tort? Contact TorHoerman Law Firm today for a free, no-obligation consultation with an Edwardsville assault attorney.


What is Considered an Intentional Tort?

An intentional tort is a phrase not known to many outside of the legal profession. An intentional tort is defined as “a type of tort that can only result from an intentional act of the defendant. Depending on the exact tort alleged, either general or specific intent will need to be proven. Common intentional torts are battery, assault, false imprisonment, trespass to land, trespass to chattels, and intentional infliction of emotional distress,” according to the Legal Information Institute.

There are a number of different types of intentional torts ranging from fraud, slander, libel, misrepresentation, and false imprisonment. Aggressive and violent actions, such as assault, battery, and wrongful death can also fall under the category of intentional torts.

Victim of an Assault, Battery or Intentional Tort

An experienced Edwardsville assault attorney from TorHoerman Law can help guide you through the process of an intentional torts lawsuit.

  1. Call 911 immediately to report the incident.
  2. Most importantly, seek medical attention immediately after the assault. When emergency responders arrive, allow the EMT’s to check for serious injury. If they suggest you go to the emergency room, do so.
  3. If able, collect evidence of the scene. Write down all of the details you can remember, take a picture of any injuries you sustained, photograph your surroundings, and write down the names and badge numbers of the responding officers. If sexually assault, request a rape kit be done by the hospital.
  4. Call an Edwardsville assault attorney. Our job as lawyers is to guide you on the next steps to take, advise you of your rights as a victim, and consult you on things you should and should not do.
  5. Talk to a counselor. An assault, and specifically a sexual assault, can be an incredibly traumatizing event. While your lawyer can help you move forward legally to receive compensation, they cannot help you move forward emotionally. Talking with a trusted confidant can help you move past the assault.


Criminal Lawsuit vs Civil Lawsuit?

In simple terms, a criminal case seeks to punish an offender for wrongdoing through fines, penalties, or confinement whereas a civil lawsuit’s purpose is to recover compensation for the victim of a crime. The three biggest differences in a criminal case and a civil lawsuit are:

  1. How cases are initiated such as who can bring charges or file a lawsuit
  2. What standards of proof are needed
  3. The penalties once a case has been decided


How cases are initiated such as who can bring charges or file a lawsuit?

Charges cannot be brought by the victim, but instead can only be brought by a legal entity like the State’s Attorney’s office. Compared to a civil lawsuit, a victim of a crime, the plaintiff, can file a lawsuit alleging the perpetrator, the defendant, assaulted, or committed another intentional tort, against them.


What standards of proof are needed?

The standard of proof needed to resolve a criminal case or civil lawsuit is vastly different. In a criminal case, the prosecution must establish the guilt of the defendant “beyond a reasonable doubt”, which essentially means there can be no evidence that suggests the defendant may not have committed the crime. The judge and/or jury must be 100% sure the defendant is guilty of the crime they were charged with. Compared to a civil lawsuit, the plaintiff must establish the defendant’s liability only according to “preponderance of evidence”. Essentially, rather than proving without a doubt the defendant committed the crime, the plaintiff only has to prove the defendant intended to harm the individual.


The penalties once a case has been decided

for cases involving criminal charges, if a defendant is proven to be guilty of the crime, they can be given fines or imprisonment, but in a civil lawsuit, the punishment can only be a monetary amount which will be awarded to the victim.

However, it is very important to note that a person can be both charged in a criminal case for their wrongdoings and sued in a civil lawsuit. It is not uncommon for victims of an assault to file a civil lawsuit to receive compensation for the damages they have suffered.


Edwardsville Assault & Battery Lawyer

With offices in Chicago, St. Louis, and Edwardsville, Illinois, the attorneys at TorHoerman Law are experienced in representing clients in personal injury law, including assault cases.

We offer a free, no-obligation consultation to provide you the opportunity to learn more about our firm. If you would like to learn more, please contact our office.

Please be aware that all confidential or time-sensitive information will be handled by a member of the firm. Any communication with the firm or any individual associated with the firm will be kept strictly confidential.


Duignan, Brian. “What Is the Difference Between Criminal Law and Civil Law?” Encyclopedia Britannica, Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc.,

“Intentional Tort.” Legal Information Institute, Cornell Law School, 20 Nov. 2018,

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