Battery is a civil tort
in the state of Maryland. Although it is
common for people to use the terms “assault” and “battery” interchangeably, the
law attaches different meanings. An assault
is an intentional threat by another person.
A battery is an intentional unpermitted touching of another’s body that
is harmful or offensive to that person and occurs without the victim’s consent.
The tort of battery does
not require that the defendant intend to injure the victim. A general intent to make contact with the
victim, frighten the victim or offend the victim is sufficient. An accidental or inadvertent contact is not a
sufficient basis for battery.
There must be some harm
that results from the touching. The harm
can be physical pain or injury, illness, or simply an offense to an
individual’s dignity. A defendant in a
battery case is legally responsible for whatever harm results from the battery,
even if the harm is disproportionate to what would reasonably be expected from
the type of contact made. The defendant
in a battery case assumes the risk that the plaintiff may be particularly
sensitive or vulnerable to harm.
The defendant in a
battery case is liable to the plaintiff even if the plaintiff was not the
intended victim. If the defendant
intends to cause harmful or offensive contact to one person, but accidentally
or otherwise causes harm to another, a cause of action lies for battery. Further, the defendant need not actually make
contact with the victim with his person.
Throwing an objection, firing a gun or otherwise causing injury, even
where the plaintiff does not touch the defendant may be the basis of a battery.
A claim for battery may
give rise to both compensatory and punitive damages.
For more information about personal injury claims, click here.
The information contained on this page is provided as general
information and does not constitute legal advice. The experienced attorneys at Baldwin, Briscoe & Steinmetz, P.C. can assist you if you are the victim of a battery. We’d be happy to sit down with you and review
your situation and provide appropriate advice.
Call today for your free, no-obligation consultation.
The Law Offices of Baldwin, Briscoe & Steinmetz, P.C. also offers these services:
With an office conveniently located in Lexington Park, The Law Offices of Baldwin, Briscoe & Stienmetz, P.C. serves clients in the counties and cities of Lexington Park, Leonardtown, Hollywood, Mechanicsville, Loveville, Helen, Breton Bay, Chaptico, Charlotte Hall, Golden Beach, Avenue, La Plata, Waldorf, Newburg, Port Tobacco, Port Charles, Solomons Island, Prince Frederick, Chesapeake Shores, Hughesville, Benedict, Nanjemoy, Lusby, Port Republic, St. Mary's County, Charles County, Calvert County, Prince George's County, Southern Maryland.