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Oklahoma Assault Victims and Injury Lawyers

Many people think that the law of personal injury involves only those actions that are negligent or reckless in nature, but that simply is not the case. Personal injury law in Oklahoma also envelops those acts that are basically intentional in nature, and many times, these acts can be more traumatic to the victim than those who are victims of mere negligence.

Negligence or Intentional Assault in Oklahoma

The most logical starting point for explaining the situation encountered by assault victims in Oklahoma is to describe the inherent differences between cases founded on a theory of negligence versus those that claim that an intentional tort was committed. There are two overriding differences between these two types of cases, and the distinctions are important.

Intent to Commit Assault

The first difference concerns the mindset of the defendant in the action. Specifically, a defendant who is sued based on a theory of negligence is charged with acting, or failing to act, in a way that’s similar to what a ‘reasonable person’ would have done or not done in a similar situation. The defendant could very well have had nothing but the best intentions in a negligence case, but if his or her conduct was seen as unreasonable, he or she could be found liable for the injuries and damages suffered by the plaintiff.

In a case involving an intentional tort, the defendant’s mindset is important and usually must be proven in order for liability to attach. In the case of an assault victim, the plaintiff must show that the defendant had some sort of intent in regards to either inflicting harm on the plaintiff or at least making the plaintiff think that harm was imminent. While this can be somewhat difficult to prove depending on the circumstances, successfully doing so can create additional options in regards to damages for the successful plaintiff. 

Suing For Damages

Generally speaking, if a defendant is found liable under the theory of negligence, the plaintiff is entitled to recover damages under several theories. These include lost wages, medical expenses already incurred and those likely to be incurred in the future, damages for emotional distress and pain and suffering and even loss of companionship in certain situations. However, it is statistically extremely rare for a successful plaintiff to recover punitive damages if the defendant is simply found to be negligent.

Oklahoma Assault Defined

Of course, assault victims in Oklahoma unfortunately gain a firsthand perspective on what constitutes an assault in Oklahoma. Generally, an assault is defined as “[A]n attempt to commit a battery, or the intentional placing of another in apprehension of receiving an immediate battery.”-Oklahoma Statutes

Although the definition above is a criminal statute, this definition is formulated from a foundation of common law, or basically laws that led to current statutes. Therefore, assault victims in Oklahoma must prove the following in order to obtain a recovery of damages:

1.  That he or she was in a situation that could have led to immediate harm;

2.  That the defendant created the situation in which harm could reasonable be inferred to have been inflicted immediately

3.  That the assault victim’s fear of an imminent battery was a reasonable fear; and

4.  The plaintiff suffered damages as a result.

If the assault victim successfully proves his or her case, then he or she will likely recover damages. However, unlike a criminal assault case, the plaintiff does not need to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he or she is an assault victim. The evidentiary standard basically states that the plaintiff must show that the situation that occurred was more likely to have occurred than not to have occurred, which is a lower standard of proof for the plaintiff.

Contact an Oklahoma Lawyer

As you see, there is much involved with proving your case if you’ve been a victim of assault in Oklahoma. If you or someone you love has suffered in this manner, contact Privett Law immediately to schedule an initial consultation.

These acts are generally called intentional torts, and Privett Law has spent years fighting for the rights of assault victims and victims of other intentional torts. If you or someone you love is an assault victim, contact the firm immediately to schedule an initial consultation.