2021 Georgia Code
Title 51 - Torts
Chapter 1 - General Provisions
§ 51-1-14. Violent Injury or Attempt to Commit Injury

Universal Citation: GA Code § 51-1-14 (2021)

Any violent injury or illegal attempt to commit a physical injury upon a person is a tort for which damages may be recovered.

(Orig. Code 1863, § 2911; Code 1868, § 2918; Code 1873, § 2969; Code 1882, § 2969; Civil Code 1895, § 3827; Civil Code 1910, § 4423; Code 1933, § 105-602.)

Cross references.

- Assault and battery generally, T. 16, C. 5, Art. 2.

Rape, § 16-6-1.

Law reviews.

- For comment on Mims v. Boland, 110 Ga. App. 477, 138 S.E.2d 902 (1964), see 2 Ga. St. B. J. 133 (1965).


Cause of action for personal injury.

- Actions ex delicto both by the common law and the law of Georgia unquestionably include actions for injuries to the person. Goebel v. Hodges, 83 Ga. App. 574, 64 S.E.2d 207 (1951).

Unlawful touching constitutes physical injury.

- Any unlawful touching of a person's body, even though no actual physical hurt may ensue therefrom, since it violates a personal right, constitutes a physical injury to that person. Interstate Life & Accident Co. v. Brewer, 56 Ga. App. 599, 193 S.E. 458 (1937).

Unlawful touching need not be direct, but may be indirect, as by the precipitation upon the body of a person of any material substance. Interstate Life & Accident Co. v. Brewer, 56 Ga. App. 599, 193 S.E. 458 (1937).

Mere striking of silver coin thrown by defendant against plaintiff's body amounted in law to physical injury. Interstate Life & Accident Co. v. Brewer, 56 Ga. App. 599, 193 S.E. 458 (1937).

Actual touching of victim not required.

- Evidence supported an award of damages for the tort of assault and intentional infliction of emotional distress when the parent of a child in daycare harassed the daycare provider by tailgating the provider, cutting the provider off, and running the provider off the road. Edwards v. Sabat, 263 Ga. App. 852, 589 S.E.2d 618 (2003).

Summary judgment inappropriate.

- When a merchant's employee detained three suspected shoplifters, and the detainees brought claims of assault and battery, summary judgment in favor of the merchant was inappropriate since the plaintiffs testified that the employee detained the plaintiff's an unreasonable amount of time and was physically and verbally abusive. Brown v. Super Disc. Mkts., Inc., 223 Ga. App. 174, 477 S.E.2d 839 (1996).

Summary judgment was improperly granted to the defendant after the plaintiff basketball referee testified that the defendant coach intentionally slammed the coach's body into the plaintiff and bumped the plaintiff backwards and that the coach's conduct was highly offensive. Darnell v. Houston County Bd. of Educ., 234 Ga. App. 488, 506 S.E.2d 385 (1998).

Jury instructions.

- The court having properly instructed the jury as to the relative rights of the parties under the pleadings and the evidence, it was not error to fail to give in charge the definition of a tort as contained in this section. Christy Bros. Circus v. Turnage, 38 Ga. App. 581, 144 S.E. 680, overruled on other grounds, Ob-Gyn Assocs. v. Littleton, 259 Ga. 663, 386 S.E.2d 146 (1989), overruled on other grounds, Lee v. State Farm Mut. Ins. Co., 272 Ga. 583, 533 S.E.2d 82 (2000), overruled on other grounds, Shores v. Modern Transp. Servs., 262 Ga. App. 293, 585 S.E.2d 664 (2003).

Remedies for Fourth Amendment violation by police officers.

- See Gilmere v. City of Atlanta, 737 F.2d 894 (11th Cir. 1984), aff'd in part and rev'd and vacated in part en banc, 774 F.2d 1495 (11th Cir. 1985), cert. denied, 476 U.S. 1115, 106 S. Ct. 1970, 90 L. Ed. 2d 654 (1986).

Cited in Dodd v. Slater, 101 Ga. App. 362, 114 S.E.2d 170 (1960); Roberts v. Harrell, 230 Ga. 454, 197 S.E.2d 704 (1973); Bowling v. Janmar, Inc., 142 Ga. App. 53, 234 S.E.2d 849 (1977); Capitol T.V. Serv., Inc. v. Derrick, 163 Ga. App. 65, 293 S.E.2d 724 (1982); Luckie v. Piggly-Wiggly S., Inc., 173 Ga. App. 177, 325 S.E.2d 844 (1984); Gardner v. Rogers, 224 Ga. App. 165, 480 S.E.2d 217 (1996); Sam's Wholesale Club v. Riley, 241 Ga. App. 693, 527 S.E.2d 293 (1999); Wallace v. Stringer, 250 Ga. App. 850, 553 S.E.2d 166 (2001); Mehinovic v. Vuckovic, 198 F. Supp. 2d 1322 (N.D. Ga. 2002); Draper v. Reynolds, 278 Ga. App. 401, 629 S.E.2d 476 (2006).


Am. Jur. 2d.

- 74 Am. Jur. 2d, Torts, § 17 et seq.


- 6A C.J.S., Assault, § 4 et seq.


- Civil action for assault upon female person, 6 A.L.R. 985.

Civil liability growing out of mutual combat, 30 A.L.R. 199; 47 A.L.R. 1092.

Recovery for physical consequences of fright resulting in physical injury, 76 A.L.R. 681; 98 A.L.R. 402.

Punitive or exemplary damages for assault, 123 A.L.R. 1115.

Proof to establish or negative self-defense in civil action for death from intentional act, 17 A.L.R.2d 597.

Civil liability of insane or other mentally disordered person for assault or battery, 77 A.L.R.2d 625.

Liability under Jones Act or seaworthiness doctrine for injuries caused by assault, 22 A.L.R.3d 624.

Admissibility of evidence of character or reputation of party in civil action for assault on issues other than impeachment, 91 A.L.R.3d 718.

Assault: criminal liability as barring or mitigating recovery of punitive damages, 98 A.L.R.3d 870.

Admissibility of evidence of character or reputation of party in civil action for sexual assault on issues other than impeachment, 100 A.L.R.3d 569.

Employee's act or threat of physical violence as bar to unemployment compensation, 20 A.L.R.4th 637.

Liability for injury to martial arts participant, 47 A.L.R.4th 403.

Workers' compensation law as precluding employee's suit against employer for third person's criminal attack, 49 A.L.R.4th 926.

Parking facility proprietor's liability for criminal attack on patron, 49 A.L.R.4th 1257.

Permissibility of in-court demonstration to show effect of injury in action for bodily injury, 82 A.L.R.4th 980.

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