What is the difference between a Criminal Car Accident Injury Lawsuit and a Civil Car Accident Injury Lawsuit?
A car accident is a scary, often life changing experience. If you were injured, what to do after the accident can be overwhelming. If your car accident injury was a result of someone breaking the law, and you plan on filing suit due to the injuries you sustained, you may have questions about the difference between a Civil Car Accident Injury Lawsuit and a Criminal Car Accident Injury Lawsuit.
Someone may be charged with a Criminal Car Accident Injury Lawsuit for many reasons. Drunk driving is a common reason to be charged with a Criminal Car Accident Injury Lawsuit. Those cited for unlawful speeding may also have a Criminal Car Accident Injury Lawsuit filed against them.
This week, a pedestrian plummeted off a bridge after an out-of-control car hit him yesterday in West Philadelphia. He later died from his injuries. The freak accident happened about 10 a.m. yesterday on Walnut Street at 30th. A 69-year-old man driving a Toyota Camry west on Walnut and a 43-year-old man driving a Mercury Montego south on 30th collided, sending the Montego spinning out of control – and toward the pedestrian walking on the overpass’ sidewalk nearby. The pedestrian tried to leap out of the way and grabbed onto a traffic light, according to University of Pennsylvania public-safety officials, who helped investigate. But the car hit the pole, sending both pedestrian and pole plunging 38 feet to the concrete roadway below. Police stated that the Montego had been speeding before the accident.
What would happen if the family of this young man, who died allegedly as a result of the negligence of someone else, decided to file suit? What is the difference between a Civil Suit and a Criminal Car Accident Injury Lawsuit in this pedestrian-car accident? Does the family need to file suit with two different lawyers? All of these are valid questions.
A civil suit is a separate process from any criminal proceeding. Criminal proceedings are designed to protect the public from future harm by acting as a deterrent to any unlawful behavior, as well as to punish the accused defendant for acting in a reckless manner.
A civil case based on injury from a car accident comes in the form of an injury lawsuit. The injury lawsuit is filed by the victim of the car accident, or in the case of a fatality, filed by the victim’s next of kin, to recover damages. If you are in a car accident that was not your fault, a civil suit could be your only recourse when attempting to recover the costs of medical treatment, lost wages, damaged property or other economic damages. Civil suits, depending upon the law of your jurisdiction, may also offer the opportunity to recover non-economic damages
The District Attorney will file a criminal lawsuit against someone who is charged with a criminal offense that relates to fault in a car accident. The family or victim does not need to file a Criminal Car Accident Injury Lawsuit.
A conviction in a criminal court carries the highest standard of proof. It must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt that the person who caused that accident was negligent. An individual can be convicted by a guilty plea or jury verdict. A conviction in a Criminal Car Accident Injury Lawsuit will be taken as the highest level proof of the conduct alleged in the criminal charges.
So, if someone is charged and convicted of a criminal offense that relates to fault in a car accident — either by recklessness, negligence, or bad intent — then there is sufficient proof that the convicted driver was responsible for the injuries. A criminal trial can therefore ultimately help your civil trial.