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Can I Be Compensated for Injuries Suffered in a Physical Altercation?

 Posted on December 22, 2022 in Personal Injury

fort collins personal injury lawyerThroughout December and early January, many Americans get together with their friends and families to celebrate the winter holidays. For many people—especially those whose employers throw company-paid holiday parties—such celebrations may include a night out at a local restaurant or bar. While these parties might start with the proverbial good cheer of the holiday season, the combination of alcohol and personal differences can lead to verbal and even physical altercations.

People often lose sight of the fact that no perceived slight or indignity is grounds for assaulting another person. When flared tensions result in personal injuries or even emotional distress in some instances, there are consequences in both the state’s criminal courts and, if the injured person should choose, civil courts. If you have been injured in a physical altercation in a Colorado bar or restaurant, whether as an intended victim or mere bystander, you have 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 in criminal and civil law. In 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, or inappropriate sexual contact. 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—the individual who caused the injury—to one person to be transferred when someone other than the 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, and thereby holding the attacker liable for even violence against an unintended target.

Types of Compensation Available to Battery Victims

On the criminal side, when a bar fight causes serious injuries, the perpetrator may be charged with the crime of battery for causing serious bodily injury. Criminal punishment, however, is not the only consequence. The victim may seek damages for medical bills, pain and suffering, lost income due to missed work, and other losses. It is also possible for the victim to recover compensation for his or her pain and suffering, emotional distress, and other mental and emotional injuries as well. The specific compensation that is available will depend on the circumstances of each individual case.

Contact a Larimer County Bar Fight Injury Attorney

For more information about seeking compensation after being injured in any type of physical altercation, contact an experienced Fort Collins personal injury lawyer at Hoggatt Law Office, P.C.. We will provide the guidance you need and the quality representation you deserve. Call 970-225-2190 to schedule a free consultation with a member of our team today.  






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