On November 14, 2019 during Thursday Night Football, the Cleveland Browns’ defensive end Myles Garrett yanked the helmet off of the head of Pittsburgh Steelers’ quarterback Mason Rudolph during a scuffle, using it as a weapon to swing and hit Rudolph over the head. While it is likely that Garett will receive a lengthy suspension, he could also be facing assault charges.
Assaults happen more often than you think. Premeditated or out of the blue, anyone can commit an assault. Bouncers at bars, security at concerts, and even the police when they use unnecessary force – all can commit assault.
If someone assaults you, what can you do? As an experienced assault attorney, Sweet James helps clients recover from their assault injuries. He helps guides you through the difficult and often times confusing litigation process. Whether you were hit in the head with a football helmet or suffered another form of assault, here as some things you’ll want to know:
Was I Assaulted?
The legal definition of assault can be confusing. Per California Penal Code 240, assault is defined as an “unlawful attempt, coupled with a present ability, to commit a violent injury on the person of another.” Often interchanged with the term battery, an assault covers only the intent to cause harm.
In order for your assault attorney to prove that your alleged attacker’s actions could be defined as assault, they must prove that these three factors were present:
- The alleged attacker must have acted in such a way that would cause a reasonable person to believe they would directly and probably use physical force against the victim.
- They acted willfully and deliberately.
- The alleged attacker had the physical and mental ability to apply force to the victim.
If your attacker attempted and/or threatened bodily harm, it is likely that you were assaulted. In the case of Myles Garrett vs. Mason Rudolph, all three factors are proven based on Garrett’s own admission.
Typically, alleged attackers aren’t so quick to admit guilt. Consult with assault attorney Sweet James today to review your case and determine who can be held liable for your assault injury.
The Difference Between Assault And Battery
Assault and battery are often confused for one another. And while many people use these terms interchangeably to describe the same situation, your assault attorney will explain that there is a difference between the two, and the nature of your lawsuit will depend on what category your attack falls under.
Assault and battery are two different crimes, and thus carry their own set of penalties, fines, and punishments.
Assault: The intent and attempt to cause bodily harm.
Battery: The actual act of causing harm.
In the case of Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett and Pittsburgh swinging a helmet at Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph and bashing him on the head, Rudolph can pursue a claim for both assault and battery. The assault being the intent to harm, and battery for the actual connection. If Rudolph decides to proceed with a lawsuit, he may be able to recover significant damages with the help of an assault attorney.
Simple Assault vs. Aggravated Assault
There are two categories of assault. Aggravated assault or simple assault:
Aggravated Assault: An attack with the intent to cause severe bodily injury, this type of assault is usually committed with a deadly weapon. Classed as a felony, this term is also applied to incidents where the victim is a protected or vulnerable class. This includes the elderly or disabled.
Simple Assault: An intentional attack that is meant to cause the victim to fear imminent physical harm. A situation would be considered simple assault if someone attempted to hurt another but failed to do so. This is a misdemeanor offense.
Depending on the skill of his assault injury attorney, Mason Rudolph could pursue either type of assault claim. It could be argued that the defensive end’s use of an object to create blunt force trauma on the quarterback’s head could have resulted in a traumatic brain injury. Known as a catastrophic injury, the location of the injury makes the helmet a deadly weapon and the attack could be classified as aggravated assault.
However, the quarterback says the attack left him uninjured. As a result, it could be argued that the placement of the blow was not intended. Therefore, it can be argued the helmet is not a deadly weapon. This would make Myles Garrett’s scuffle with Mason Rudolph simple assault.
Examples Of Assault
Assault comes in many forms. Here are some examples of situations that could be classified as either simple assault or aggravated assault:
- An NFL defensive end hits an NFL quarterback over his unprotected head with a helmet
- A bouncer punches someone
- Manhandled by venue security
- Inappropriate force used by police during an arrest
- Unwelcome sexual touch
If you are unsure if you were a victim of assault, contact your assault attorney today.
What To Do If You Are Assaulted
If you are assaulted, the first thing you should do is get away from your attacker and seek help. By dialing 911 and alerting the police, you take your first step in protecting yourself and your assets. Seek medical help if you need it, no matter how small the injury.
Once you are safe, call assault attorney Sweet James for help in filing your assault claim. Using both the police report and your medical records, he will build an airtight case and get you the maximum compensation for your suffering.
California’s Top Assault Attorney Sweet James
Falling under the category of a personal injury lawsuit, assault claims can be more complex than most. Not only are victims dealing with the trauma of being mentally and physically harmed by another, but they face a burden of proof in order to hold their attacker liable. If you have suffered an assault, the best way to recover is with a dedicated assault attorney at your side.
As one of California’s premiere personal injury attorneys, Sweet James as the expertise you want on your side when bringing your attacker to justice. Contact him today for a free consultation. No matter how big or small your injuries, Sweet James has your back.