Criminal Implications Of Personal Injury- Know The Facts That Matter

Criminal Implications Of Personal Injury- Know The Facts That Matter

May 25, 2020 Off By Glespynorson

When you get into a serious accident, the initial shock may put you off track and you may not even understand your rights as a victim. In fact, you may be confused about whether you need to follow a criminal process or a civil one to deal with the case. While the majority of personal injury claims need to be handled as a civil matter, there are some in which criminal proceedings may be involved. Obviously, such cases become more complex due to their two-faceted nature, so you would need an expert legal professional to steer them in the right direction and get you the compensation you deserve. Further, they can ensure an appropriate penalty for the guilty person.

When can civil and criminal matters intersect?

The cases where civil and criminal matters intersect can be quite confusing and it is often difficult to understand both the implications. However, as a victim, you must comprehend the possible scenarios so that you can approach your case in the right manner. For example, if you were injured in a serious car crash, you will probably want to file a civil lawsuit against the negligent driver with the intention to claim damages. But you may also issue criminal charges if you find that the driver was intoxicated when the crash happened. In such circumstances, the same accident has the potential for a personal injury trial and a criminal prosecution as well.

What is the impact of a criminal case on victim compensation?

For cases where a criminal matter leads to a conviction, the victim is entitled to recover compensation for certain financial losses. The defendant will have to pay you restitution, which will cover your financial losses including medical bills for the injury and cost of psychological treatment. Additionally, they will also provide compensation for the fair value of the property damaged in the accident. Seasoned serious injury attorneys suggest that you should also file a civil injury case along with criminal proceedings because it provides you additional damages. Through a civil claim, you can seek compensation for physical suffering, emotional distress, and lost earning capacity. While both proceedings can co-exist, the criminal case often gets resolved earlier.

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What if the defendant is found not guilty in the criminal case?

If the defendant gets a not guilty verdict in the criminal case, it does not mean that you will automatically lose the personal injury lawsuit too. The standards of proof differ for civil and criminal cases, which means that you may still get a favorable verdict in the civil case despite losing the criminal case. The defendant should be found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in criminal court. Conversely, you just have to prove that a preponderance of the evidence indicates their culpability. So you can expect different verdicts for the same issue in the two proceedings.

Getting maximum recovery for the damages and injuries you sustain in an accident should be your prime concern. However, a seasoned attorney can help you get the responsible driver to pay up by filing a criminal case along with the personal injury lawsuit.