If you are convicted of a crime that resulted in the victim suffering damages, you could be faced with a personal injury lawsuit. This can feel like an added consequence when you are already facing the repercussions of a criminal conviction. It’s important to obtain legal counsel to help you navigate between these two legal entanglements because there is a significant difference between criminal and civil court.
The Difference Between Civil and Criminal Cases in San Francisco CA
Following a criminal charge, the victim may choose to file a personal injury lawsuit against you. It’s important to understand that there is a significant difference between these two types of cases because they take place in two very different ways.
Criminal cases are brought forth when the state or municipal prosecutor decides to press charges against the accused. Although the victim may play an active role during the process, they are not responsible for the charges.
In civil cases, such as personal injury lawsuits, the victim is the person who brings forth the claim. In order for a victim to bring forth a civil case against the defendant, there does not need to be a criminal conviction. In some cases, there may not even be a criminal charge at play.
Criminal Cases that Result in Personal Injury
Sometimes, personal injury cases stemming from a person engaging in illegal, criminal activity. As a result, a person convicted of a crime may also find himself or herself contending with a personal injury lawsuit as well. When the accused engaged in illegal activity that resulted in bringing harm or even death to another person, they might be held liable. Examples of criminal cases that could result in a personal injury claim include:
- Vehicular Manslaughter
- Sexual Assault
- Assault and Battery
Essentially, if a person’s negligence results in the injury or death of another person, a personal injury claim or lawsuit may be a viable option. It’s important to note that the claimant will have to prove that:
- There was a duty of care
- There was a breach in the duty of care
- The claimant was harmed as a result
- The claimant incurred damages from the accident
Personal injury and criminal cases are two separate cases. However, when a criminal conviction is present, it may be easier to prove a personal injury.
When You Need a San Francisco CA Criminal Defense Attorney
If you have already endured the criminal courts for charges brought against you by the state, you may also be forced to face a civil trial as well. The victim’s attorney will be fighting for maximum compensation for their client. You will want to ensure that you are legally protected by an attorney who understands aspects of criminal defense in addition to civil matters such as personal injury lawsuits.
Facing criminal charges can be especially stressful when also facing a possible personal injury lawsuit it can only add to the burden. A criminal defense attorney San Francisco CA clients turn to at the Morales Law Firm may be able to represent you in both situations. For more information regarding how a criminal defense attorney can be invaluable to the charges you are faced with, consult with an attorney as soon as possible.