If you have suffered physical and emotional damage from being the victim of a crime, you may be able to seek financial damages in addition to the criminal charges that your attacker is likely facing. There is a significant difference between the processes, outcomes, and goals of a criminal case vs a civil case, and each has a different burden of proof necessary to reach a ruling.
Contact us today to discuss your situation and get a better understanding of your possible options for a civil lawsuit following being the victim of a crime. During your free case evaluation, we will explore the details of the crime, the injuries that resulted from it, and the impact that they have had on your life both emotionally and financially. In addition, you will be able to get a better understanding of how our law firm works, and how our understanding and practice of personal injury law in Atlanta will be an enormous asset to your case.
Read more about civil lawsuits following crimes below.
What Is the Difference Between a Criminal and Civil Offense and Case?
There are many differences between a criminal and civil case, which can all affect the victim greatly. During a criminal case, the victim is not required to pay for an attorney, while during a civil case, they must hire their own representation. In addition, there is a higher burden of proof in a criminal case than a civil – “innocent until proven guilty” applies to criminal proceedings. One of the most well-known instances of an “innocent” ruling in a criminal case, but a “guilty” charge in a civil case is the OJ Simpson case, where he was ordered to pay $25 million in punitive damages.
Although a criminal court may award the victim punitive damages from the defendant, a civil case allows damages beyond punitive damages that include non-economic factors such as pain and suffering, depression, fear, and trauma. In addition, you can be sure that your lawyer in a civil case is there to represent YOUR best interests, not to prove that the defendant acted against the will of the state. In a criminal case, the main focus is on the laws that were or were not broken, and not necessarily about every way the victim suffered from these crimes.
Can I Pursue a Civil Case Without a Criminal Conviction?
You are able to seek financial damages regardless of the outcome of the criminal case. They are treated as two entirely separate issues, and ultimately address two different things. A criminal case seeks to prove that the person violated state or federal laws, while the civil case seeks to prove that the victim was affected economically, emotionally, or both, and deserves to be compensated because of the actions of the defendant.
The team at Seay & Felton have a history of experience in dealing with personal injury lawsuits in Atlanta as lawyers for victims of crimes, and we will be happy to discuss the possible avenues that we see for your own situation during your case evaluation. Just because there are or are not criminal charges or findings does not mean that you can or can not file for a civil lawsuit – your suffering does not need to go unanswered.
Contact Us Today
Even if you are unsure of your rights and options, contact us for a case evaluation. Your evaluation is free, and is a great opportunity to understand your options from the perspective of a personal injury attorney, as well as learn about what our working relationship might look like with you. During ths course of this case, we will do everything we can to reduce your stress so that you can focus on recovering and moving forward with your life, with the confidence that we are working on your behalf to get you what you deserve.