If I pushed a bouncer last weekend so he put me in a choke hold and threw me to the ground, am I at fault or can he be held liable for damages since all I did was push him?

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If I pushed a bouncer last weekend so he put me in a choke hold and threw me to the ground, am I at fault or can he be held liable for damages since all I did was push him?

I sprained my wrist and now my throat swelling is getting worse.

Asked on June 30, 2013 under Personal Injury, California

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You were the aggressor when yoiu pushed the bouncer.  Pushing the bouncer would constitute assault and battery.  Assault is intentionally placing one in reasonable apprehension of an immediate battery without consent or legal privilege.  Battery is the physical contact, the harmful or offensive touching of the person of another without consent or legal privilege.

The bouncer could assert self defense to your lawsuit for assault and battery.  The issue is whether the bouncer used excessive force.  If you can claim that the bouncer used excessive force, then the bouncer's argument of self defense to being pushed by you won't prevail.  If the bouncer claims that he used reasonable force then the bouncer will prevail by arguing self defense.

The bouncer will claim that he used reasonable non-deadly force to stop the attack when you pushed him.  If you can establish that the bouncer used excessive force, you can recover damages for assault and battery for your injuries.  Your damages would include compensation  for the medical bills, compensation for pain and suffering, and documentation of wage loss.  Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  Compensation for pain and suffering is an amount in addition to the medical bills based on the information in the medical reports.  Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement. 


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