The justice system is made up of several different practice areas, and only one type of court case can result in monetary damages for the victim of carelessness or negligence. Court cases exist in criminal, civil, probate, family, bankruptcy courts and more. When you get injured, you are not only entitled to money damages, but your case could be connected to criminal charges for the defendant. In some circumstances, one type of case may influence the outcome of another type of case. Read on for a better understanding of two types of courts and how they relate to each other.
If you have been injured in a car wreck, through the negligence of a business or are the family member of someone who died in one of those two instances, you will seek justice using the civil court system. Civil court means money; it is the only way to sue and get monetarily compensated using a judgment or settlement. One major difference in civil court and criminal court, besides the financial and punishment aspects, is the burden of proof.
With civil court, the burden is to prove the case "by a preponderance of the evidence" and not "beyond a reasonable doubt." A preponderance of evidence means that the facts alleged by the plaintiff are more than likely true than not. If you prove your case, you can get money damages relating to:
1. Medical expenses
2. Lost wages
3. Pain and suffering
4. Loss of consortium
5. Lost or damaged property
Most people understand the seriousness of the crimes litigated in criminal court. This is where assault, murder, rape and other crimes are prosecuted. It is also where cases like DUI, reckless driving, vehicular homicide and other cases related to a civil case are heard. If the person that hit you with their vehicle did so while breaking the law, the perpetrator could find themselves being charged in criminal court and being sued in civil.
It's important to note that even if the criminal charges don't result in a conviction, you can still seek civil damages. This is what the families of Nicole Brown Simpson and Rob Goldman did; they sued OJ Simpson for wrongful death after the criminal court failed to convict him of murder (and they won that lawsuit).
If you've been hurt by someone, the presence of co-occurring criminal charges are important. Speak to your personal injury law firm about your case and get the compensation that you are owed.