Being involved in a car crash is a life-changing experience. Even people who don’t suffer any physical injuries might have emotional damage from the crash. These effects are serious when the crash was truly an accident, but there are times when recklessness or negligence caused the crash. Those might be more challenging to deal with. This is where civil and criminal cases for personal injury matters can occur.
Victims of car crashes may want to hold the driver accountable for their actions. What some might not realize is that it’s often possible to do this in more than one way.
Two Types of Cases
When a crash is caused by criminal action, such as drunk driving, it’s possible that the person will face criminal charges. It’s up to the prosecuting attorney to decide if this happens. These cases can result in time in jail, fines, and other penalties as a way to punish the driver for breaking the law.
When there’s an injury, the victim can file a civil lawsuit to help them recover the damages they’re facing because of the crash. This lawsuit isn’t aimed at punishing the driver for their actions. Instead, it’s meant as a way to hold them liable for the damage their actions caused.
A driver can face both civil and criminal cases for personal injury matters against them that stem from the same crash. These cases don’t depend on each other. A person can be held liable for the crash in civil court and still be found not guilty in criminal court. The opposite is also true. Some of the same evidence and factors may come into the picture.
The standard for each of these cases is different. The standard for a criminal case is “beyond a reasonable doubt,” which is a higher standard than “a preponderance of the evidence” that’s necessary in a civil case. This sometimes accounts for times when a person is held liable in civil court but found not guilty in criminal court. Don't forget to check out Union Law Firm they are dedicated to vigorously protecting your rights.
Points to Remember When Seeking Compensation
Working with a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer enables you to find out what options you have for pursuing a personal injury claim. State laws limit the amount of time you have to file a civil case, so you should ensure you get started as soon as possible after the crash.
Your attorney can determine how much compensation you should seek. This could include several different types. Medical bills and lost wages are two common categories of damages, but there are others that might be possible. The attorney will look at all damages related to the crash, including the damages you already know about as well as the ones you’ll likely incur in the future.
The good news is that your lawyer can handle the legal side of personal injury matters while you focus on healing from your injuries and learn how to live your life again. This might be a little different from what you thought it would be before the wreck. The compensation you seek should take that, as well as the financial damages you incurred, into account.