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A car crash can lead to civil and criminal court cases

On Behalf of | Oct 2, 2020 | Car Accidents

Traveling on the nation’s highways is usually a fairly safe event. There are some instances in which an unsafe driver might cause problems. If you come into contact with one of them and are injured, you might be ready to take action.

One way that you can hold the driver accountable for the injuries they caused is through a personal injury lawsuit. This takes place within the civil court system, so it’s possible for them to face the civil case and a criminal case that all stem from the same crash.

These two lawsuits don’t have anything to do with each other. This means that the person can be found guilty in the criminal court and not liable in the civil court. The opposite is also true. There are some major differences between the two courts and how these cases are handled.

The requirement to prove your case is one of the biggest differences. In a civil case, you must show that the defendant is liable for the damages through a preponderance of the evidence. That’s a much lower standard than what’s required in a criminal trial, which is decided beyond a reasonable doubt.

Additionally, the prosecutor will handle the case against the defendant if the matter is in criminal court. In civil court, you’re the complainant and the driver is the defendant.

When you file a claim through the civil court, you’ll need to show what types of damages you’re claiming. They must be related to the crash, so you can ask for things like repayment of the medical care costs and compensation for lost wages. Your attorney can work with you to determine what types of damages you should claim.