In Canada, reasonable expectation of personal safety is enforced criminally and civilly and in a previous post we already described the implications associated with dishonest sexual assault accusations, defamation of character and the damages in which one might be able to claim should they become such a victim.
Perhaps slightly more complicated is understanding the differences between a criminal and civil case and how, particularly where a criminal prosecution is concerned, a personal injury claim can be affected. That said, it is important to also acknowledge that legal action taken as a result of an assault can be heard in both criminal court and a civil court.
An assault by definition occurs when the defendant has demonstrated some sort of intended threat that in turn has instilled an element of apprehension or fear in the would-be claimant. This explanation typically pertains to cases that would be considered to be of a criminal nature. Although the lines are often blurred, there are significant distinctions between assault and battery and it is not uncommon for an assault to be mistaken for the latter. One clear differentiation is that with an assault there is no requirement for any physical contact to have occurred and the claimant does not need to have suffered any physical injuries. Thus, a claimant who can prove that the defendant intended to commit the act that could be seen to reasonably cause apprehension on part of the claimant, may be successful in obtaining compensation in a civil assault injury case.
A personal injury lawsuit may be the most effective way for the victim to not only get reimbursement for possible medical bills and out of pocket expenses that may include reimbursement for housekeeping assistance and personal care, but also compensation for any pain and suffering experienced by the victim. This can be recovered from the person or persons who are legally liable for the incident that occurred. This can extend beyond those accused of committing the assault and can include employers, institutions such as schools and camps, governmental organizations, and in addition, parents.
The Ontario Limitations Act s.4 limits the time in which a claimant can bring a claim to two years from the day the claim is discovered. Typically, the civil case proceeds after any criminal proceedings are held but one has to be certain not to possibly lose the opportunity of bringing a civil claim by waiting too long to initiate the claim.
Civil proceedings are usually complex and require an experienced personal injury lawyer who can evaluate and advise you throughout the process. At Devry Smith Frank LLP we can navigate you or your loved ones through the seemingly overwhelming laws pertaining to personal injury. Although every case is different, we continuously strive to achieve the best possible results.
For more information on how we can assist, please e-mail me directly at Marc Spivak or call me at (416) 446-5855 and schedule a free consultation today.
“This article is intended to inform. Its content does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon by readers as such. If you require legal assistance, please see a lawyer. Each case is unique and a lawyer with good training and sound judgment can provide you with advice tailored to your specific situation and needs.”