If you have been injured in a robbery or by assault or battery, you may not know that you can press civil charges against your assailant. Of course, the state prosecutes perpetrators of crimes with criminal charges which seek to put them in jail or charge them a fine. However, the law also allows for the victims to file a claim against their assailant to seek compensation for their injuries or other damages that resulted from the crime.
A civil case against a perpetrator of an assault or robbery is entirely separate from the criminal proceedings, and has different rules for how it is conducted. In a criminal case, the prosecution must prove that the defendant committed the crime “beyond a reasonable doubt.” This means that the jury must be left with not a doubt in their minds that the defendant is guilty, and is the highest evidence standard in our legal system. Civil cases have a much easier standard to meet, and a plaintiff only needs to prove their case “by a preponderance of the evidence.” This phrase essentially means that it is more likely than not that the defendant was responsible for plaintiff’s injuries and damages. This burden is much easier to meet.
So, what does that mean? Well it essentially means that even if a defendant is acquitted of criminal wrong doing, they can still be found negligent and required to pay for the plaintiff’s medical bills and other related costs and damages.
Damages in these kinds of personal injury cases can include lost wages, medical bills, damage to property, and pain and suffering. Depending on the severity of the damages or the crime, these can add up to a very large amount of money.
If you have been the victim of a robbery or injured by assault or battery, you should consider contacting a skilled personal injury attorney in your area. A lawyer with experience, like a personal injury lawyer Atlanta GA trusts, will be able to look at the factors of your case and determine if it would be appropriate for you to file a separate civil lawsuit against the perpetrator.
These lawsuits are valuable to victims because they force the criminal to bear the financial burdens that can come from being robbed or assaulted. These costs should never fall on the victim, who did nothing to deserve what happened to them. You have nothing to gain by not contacting an attorney, and seeing what path would be best for you.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Andrew R. Lynch, P.C. for their insight into civil cases from robber, assault, or battery.