Assault, Battery & Other Intentional Torts

Intentional Torts

If yourself or a loved one was the victim of an intention tort such as assault, battery, or abuse, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and losses through an assault and battery lawsuit.

Contact an assault lawyer from TorHoerman Law to discuss your legal options today, free of charge and no obligation required.

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Our team of experienced assault lawyers is can help you determine your best course of action for receiving compensation for your injuries and holding your abuser accountable for their actions.

Please, if you are currently in an abusive relationship or suffering from an abusive environment, we urge you to do everything in your power to remove yourself from that environment as soon as possible and contact the authorities to report the abuse.

Frequently Asked Questions

Assault, battery, threats, and similar incidents are considered intentional torts because they are intentional actions meant to cause harm or suffering to another person.

Also, unlike other personal injury cases, an intentional tort lawsuit can be handled as a civil lawsuit, criminal lawsuit, or both.

Under tort law, seven intentional torts exist.

The seven (7) intentional torts are defined as:

  • Battery
  • Assault
  • Trespass to Land
  • False Imprisonment
  • Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress
  • Trespass to Chattels
  • Conversion.

If you have been harmed as a result of any of the aforementioned intentional acts, you should contact an assault lawyer immediately.

First, you will need to determine whether there is going to be a criminal assault and battery lawsuit filed and try to contact the prosecuting attorney.

Next, you should begin the process of filing your own civil lawsuit.

This means that you should get in touch with an intentional tort lawyer, so that they can help you gather evidence and assess damages.

Sexual Assault
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Sexual Assault

Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
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Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer

Domestic Violence
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Domestic Violence

Table of Contents

Common Intentional Torts


Any action made by the antagonist (the person who attacks the victim) that creates a threat in which the victim reasonably fears an immediate harmful or offensive contact.

Sexual Assault

Any action made by the antagonist that defines unwanted sexual contact from the antagonist is considered sexual assault.


If the antagonist’s actions do cause actual harmful or offensive contact with the victim.

Domestic Violence

Any action made by the antagonist, who is in an intimate relationship with the victim, to dominate, intimidate or control the victim unwontedly is considered domestic violence.

False Imprisonment

Any action where the antagonist forcibly detains the victim or restricts the victim’s freedom to move.

These actions can be physical, but can also include threats.

A false arrest is a form of false imprisonment.

False arrest is any unwarranted detention of an individual.

False imprisonment and false arrest are not limited to authority figures, such as police, and can be committed by private citizens as well.


Any action where the antagonist exercises dominion and control over the victim’s property without consent to do so from the victim.

Even if the property is returned to the victim, the antagonist is still liable for conversion.

An intentional affliction of emotional distress

The intentional affliction of emotional distress is defined as extreme or outrageous conduct that intentionally or recklessly causes emotional distress to the victim.

Extreme or outrageous conduct is generally defined as being beyond all possible grounds of decency.

The definition is not clearly defined and is subjectively decided case-by-case.


Intentional misrepresentation, misstatements, lies, cons, or scams that cause harm to the victim.


Any action made by the antagonist that intentionally interferes with the victim’s ownership of property, or any time the antagonist enters the victim’s premises without consent.

See premises liability for more information.


Any false statement or declaration made by the antagonist about the victim, which is presented to at least one other person as being factual and objective.

The antagonist must know that the statement or declaration is untrue, or at least made no attempt to investigate the validity of the information before presenting it.

In some cases, the victim must prove that the false statement caused them at least some level of harm.

Resources for Victims of Abuse

We cannot stress enough the importance of removing yourself from an abusive environment, if possible.

Contact authorities to report the crimes.

If you do not have the means to remove yourself from the situation, here are some helpful resources that may be able to help you:

Intentional Tort Lawsuit

Most personal injury lawsuits involve an accident due to negligence that causes one or more people to suffer an injury, although the party at fault did not intend to cause the injury.

However, assault, battery, threats, and similar incidents are considered intentional torts because they are intentional actions meant to cause harm or suffering to another person.

Also unlike other personal injury claims, an intentionally tortious action can lead to:

  • A criminal case against the defendant
  • A civil lawsuit against the defendant
  • Or both

In a criminal trial, the case against the antagonist would be made by the state.

The antagonist could be reprimanded in the form of a fine, required service, or even potentially some form of penal sentencing for their actions.

In a civil trial, the claim against the antagonist would be made by the plaintiff or plaintiffs – those individuals who were the victims of the antagonist’s tortious act.

The plaintiff would seek financial compensation from the antagonist for the damages that they incurred as a result of the antagonist’s actions.

Proving Intentional Tort & Negligent Tort

To prove that the defendant has committed an intentional tort, you must first establish these elements of your claim:

  • The individual committed the intentional physical, verbal, emotional contact of, or forced to, your body or property.
  • This contact was perceived as harmful, unwanted, or offensive, and
  • You, the victim, did not consent to the contact.

To prove that the defendant has committed a negligent tort, you must first establish these elements:

  • The individual committed an act of physical, verbal, emotional contact with, or forced to, your body or property.
  • This act was not necessarily intended to affect you.
  • This contact was perceived as harmful, unwanted, or offensive, and
  • You, the victim, did not consent to the contact.

What is a Negligent Tort?

Think of negligent torts in terms of all non-intentional tort personal injury cases.

A negligent tort is essentially an accident.

The defendant’s actions caused you harm, but they did not premeditate this harm or intend for it to happen.

As you may have noticed in the previous section, the one key factor that separates intentional torts from negligent torts is that intentional torts are meant to cause harm, negligent is not.

If you have any questions about the difference, contact an assault lawyer.

Who is Liable for an Intentional Tort?

Generally, the individual who committed the tortious act is held liable for his or her actions and any resulting damages incurred by the victim.

However, if the antagonist(s) who intentionally committed the act did so while acting as representatives of am institution, business, or other entity, that institution, business or entity could also be held liable for the actions committed & subsequent damages incurred by the victim.

Example 1:

A nursing home employee regularly physically assaults an elderly resident during the employee’s shift hours.

The assault results in the resident suffering physical injuries & emotional damages.

Because the resident suffered these injuries while under the care of the nursing home facility and due to an employee of the facility, the nursing home could potentially be held liable for the damages that their elderly resident incurred.

Example 2:

A public train conductor gets into a verbal argument with a passenger.

Angered, the conductor physically attacks the passenger, breaking the passenger’s nose.

As a public employee, the conductor is a representative of the city.

Therefore, the city could be open to liability for the passenger’s medical bills & other damages.

What is the Difference between Assault & Battery

Assault and battery are two separate and distinct types of intentional tort cases.

In either case, the intent of the antagonist does not have to be to harm the victim, but rather just to carry out the act that eventually results in harm.

So, if the antagonist makes an idle threat to a third party, but the victim gets word of the threat and rationally perceives it as real, then the antagonist could potentially be guilty of committing assault.

If the antagonist touches the victim without force, but the victim rationally perceives the touch as inappropriate or harmful, then the antagonist could potentially be guilty of committing battery.

Assault does not necessarily mean that the antagonist makes contact with the victim.

Assault includes any intentional attempt or threat of future infliction of injury to the victim that causes the victim to rationally fear for their well-being.

A battery is the intentional physical contact with the victim by the antagonist.

The contact must be harmful or offensive in some way.

The victim must not have consented to the contact.

Self-Defense as a Defense to an Intentional Tort

If you perceive another person’s actions as potentially threatening to your well-being or another person’s well-being, there are certain situations in which you can use self-defense to mitigate the situation.

To claim self-defense, all other avenues to mitigation must have been unavailable.

For example:

Your neighbor has continually become more aggressive with you over the past few weeks because of a property dispute.

You have asked him to leave you alone and even said that you will contact the police if he does not disengage or find another way to handle the situation.

Finally, your neighbor verbally threatens you, even invading your personal space to yell at you in your face.

You perceive this threat as legitimate, so you punch your neighbor in the face.

This leads to an altercation where police presence is necessary to end the conflict.

You claim self-defense.

You threw the punch because you perceived the threat as real.


This IS NOT a legitimate self-defense claim.

You had another avenue to mitigate the situation.

You could have contacted the police and reported the assault (threat).

Rather, you chose to commit battery.

Your self-defense claim will most likely not hold up in a court of law.

Another Example:

You are walking downtown at night.

A man comes out of a bar.

He is drunk and is noticeably aggravated.

The drunk man bumps into you, then begins shoving and pushing you.

He threatens you with violence and seems to be intent on attacking you.

He shoves you again and then cocks back to punch you.

You strike him first.

In this case…

You would have a legitimate self-defense claim.

In that period of time, you perceived a threat as real and there were no other avenues to mitigate the situation.

Your self-defense claim will most likely hold up in a court of law.

Mitigating Injuries

One of the most important initial steps that a victim can take in an intentional tort is mitigating their injuries.

No matter how you gauge the severity of your injuries, you should seek professional medical attention as soon as possible following the event.

Follow the doctor’s orders.

You should do everything in your power to avoid furthering the extent of your injuries.

Documenting Injuries

It is important to try to document proof that you have mitigated your injuries from the time that the incident occurred.

You can document your injuries using:

  • Photos & videos of injuries
  • Documented personal accounts of your healing process
  • Medical documents related to your injuries & healing process

You should begin documenting your injuries from the time that the incident occurred until your injuries are completely healed.

Filing an Intentional Tort Lawsuit

Before anything else: 

Stop all communications with your assaulter.

All communication should be handled through your assault lawyer and the defendant’s representative.

If you believe that you may qualify to participate in an assault and battery lawsuit, there are a few steps that you should take before filing.

First, determine whether there is going to be a criminal charge filed against your antagonist.

If so, try and get into contact with the prosecuting attorney to collaborate information.

Next, you need to begin the process of filing your own civil lawsuit – you can use the steps of a civil lawsuit guide to familiarize yourself with the process.

Before you hire an assault lawyer, you should begin to gather evidence for your intentional tort lawsuit.

Evidence in these types of cases commonly includes medical files and bills, reports of the incident, photos of the scene and injuries, and personal accounts of the incident.

Follow our guide to gathering evidence to review the full list of potential evidence.

Your attorney can help you assess damages for your injuries.

In an intentional tort lawsuit, it is not uncommon for the victim to demand both compensatory damages and punitive damages from the defendant.

Because of the statute of limitations, you should not hesitate to file your civil assault and battery lawsuit.

You should contact an assault lawyer right away so that you can begin the process as quickly as possible.

Hiring an Intentional Tort Lawyer

If you or someone that you know has been harmed or injured as a result of any of the previously mentioned types of intentional torts, or any other intentional acts that have caused harm, you should contact an assault lawyer right away.

An assault lawyer on our personal injury attorney team can help you receive compensation for your injuries.

Not only that, we will fight to make sure that the defendant is held responsible and punished for their actions so that similar incidents are never repeated.

In the unfortunate event that you are representing a loved one who has passed away as a result of an intentional tort, you may need to talk to a wrongful death attorney who is experienced in intentional tort lawsuits.

If you believe you have an intentional tort claim, contact us today for a free no-obligation intentional tort case evaluation.

TorHoerman Law works on a contingency fee basis for all intentional tort lawsuit cases, so we don’t charge our clients anything until after they have received the full compensation for their injuries.

Tor Hoerman

Tor Hoerman

Owner & Attorney - TorHoerman Law



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