Can I file a Civil lawsuit following a criminal case? 29 Answers as of July 07, 2013

After a criminal matter being resolved (auto accident), can one commence a civil action?

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Law Offices of Ronald A. Steinberg & Associates | Ronald A. Steinberg, BA, MA, JD
Absolutely! Different parties, and different standards of proof. Often times, civil and criminal cases have the same facts. For example, if I walk up to you and punch you, I have committed a criminal assault and battery (typically a misdemeanor which has a jail sentence of less than one year). You can also sue me for your injuries and damages, and collect money.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 1/28/2013
Law Offices of Mark West
Law Offices of Mark West | Mark West
If you file the civil lawsuit within the time limits allowed, yes. I have handled wrongful death matters which arose out of a truck/vehicle accident over which there was a criminal matter against the truck driver. Of course, if you were the one charged, and you lost in the criminal matter, that would not be good for you in the civil matter. I am assuming you mean the adverse driver was charged and convicted or tried criminally.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/10/2013
The Law Offices of Mark Wm. Hofgard, Esq.
The Law Offices of Mark Wm. Hofgard, Esq. | Mark William Hofgard
You can pursue the defendant in the criminal matter for injuries sustained by filing a civil lawsuit. The degree of proof is generally by "preponderance of the evidence," as contrasted to the higher standard in criminal matters "beyond a reasonable doubt." Sometimes the evidence developed in the criminal matter and judgment will help you prosecute the civil matter.
Answer Applies to: Arizona
Replied: 1/10/2013
Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
Yes very certainly.
Answer Applies to: North Carolina
Replied: 1/9/2013
Victor Varga | Victor Varga
Yes.
Answer Applies to: Maryland
Replied: 5/28/2013
    The Law Firm of Stephen M. Reck, LLC
    The Law Firm of Stephen M. Reck, LLC | Scott D. Camassar
    If the statute of limitations has not expired, you can but the question is whether there is any point to doing so; there is no insurance coverage for intentional acts like crimes, so unless the person has substantial assets, you're not likely to recover anything.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 1/9/2013
    Law Offices of Sandeep G. Agarwal
    Law Offices of Sandeep G. Agarwal | Sandeep G. Agarwal
    Yes, so long as the civil suit is filed no more than two years after the accident [that is the statute of limitations in California]. So, make a note of the accident date, and as long as two years has not elapsed, you can file suit.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/9/2013
    Lombardi Law Firm
    Lombardi Law Firm | Steve Lombardi
    Yes, that happens all the time.
    Answer Applies to: Iowa
    Replied: 7/7/2013
    Rags Beals Seigler Patterson & Gray
    Rags Beals Seigler Patterson & Gray | Ronald D. Reemsnyder
    A criminal matter is not a bar to a civil suit. In fact proof of criminal conduct helps to show civil liability Sent from my iPhone Confidentiality Notice: This email is intended only for those addressees shown in the " to" and "cc" headers. Please delete this email if you are not such an intended recipient. Review of this email by other than the intended recipients does not waive the attorney client , work product or other privileges. Only clients may rely on this email- if you are not my client, please be advised that I am not providing legal advice to you.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 1/9/2013
    Law Office of Christian F. Paul
    Law Office of Christian F. Paul | Christian F. Paul
    Yes, if you have a cause of action against someone for injuring you in some way, you may sue whether or not the person has been charged with a crime in the same incident.? Remember O.J. Simpson, who was charged with double murder (and acquitted) but also sued by the family of one victim (and found liable). See a local personal injury attorney right away and take all evidence and information you have so that he or she can advise you.? Do not delay, because the statute of limitations can cut off your right to sue.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/9/2013
    Atkins & Fife, LLC | William J. Atkins
    Yes. Depends on the circumstances. If you were criminally charged, ie you were at fault, it is hard to see how you could have a civil case. But if you were not at fault, a civil suit would certainly be possible.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 1/9/2013
    Frank Law Group, P.C.
    Frank Law Group, P.C. | Brett E. Rosenthal
    Yes, regardless of the outcome of the criminal matter, you can file civil case regarding your injuries. The criminal system is to punish those who commit crimes, whereas the civil system is to compensate injured parties for their injuries. In the OJ Simpson case, OJ was acquitted of the criminal charges, but then was found liable for the wrongful deaths of the two victims. However, if the defendant was found guilty in the criminal case that can mean an automatic finding of fault in the civil case. Complicated evidentiary issues that require counsel.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/9/2013
    John Russo | John Russo
    Yes, unless as part of a plea bargain it was waived.
    Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
    Replied: 1/9/2013
    Koning & Jilek, P.C.
    Koning & Jilek, P.C. | Jonathan Neal Jilek
    Yes.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/28/2013
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C.
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C. | Andrew Velonis
    Yes, provided that there is still time left on the statute of limitations and you can demonstrate injury. If there is a guilty plea or verdict, that can be used against the Defendant.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 1/9/2013
    Adler Law Group, LLC
    Adler Law Group, LLC | Lawrence Adler
    Yes you can. It can be filed even before. You have 2 years in most cases to file. Obviously the person you are suing needs to be at fault.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 1/9/2013
    DENKER & BUTLER, PLLC | RICK DENKER
    Yes, provided you are still within the applicable period of time (statute of limitations) for filing a personal injury claim.
    Answer Applies to: Oklahoma
    Replied: 1/9/2013
    Havens & Lichtenberg PLLC
    Havens & Lichtenberg PLLC | Michael Lichtenberg
    Yes, provided that the suit is not barred by a statute of limitations (meaning that the event(s) giving you the reason to sue occurred not too long ago. For instance, if you intend to sue for negligence resulting in personal injury, in New York, you have to file the case within 3 years from the date of the accident.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 1/9/2013
    WEISSMAN LAW FIRM
    WEISSMAN LAW FIRM | I.Donald Weissman
    The answer is yes. The facts will determine if the case would have merit.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/9/2013
    Law Office of Malosack Berjis
    Law Office of Malosack Berjis | Malosack Berjis
    Absolutely. (In fact, that is normally the order in which they are done.)
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/9/2013
    Blaske & Blaske, P.L.C.
    Blaske & Blaske, P.L.C. | John F. Turck IV
    Yes, so long as you file it within the applicable statute of limitations. There are different kinds of claims (and therefore different statutes of limitations) applicable to auto accidents. My best advice is to immediately contact an attorney if you want to pursue any potential claims you may have.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 1/9/2013
    Fairlie & Lippy, P.C.
    Fairlie & Lippy, P.C. | Christopher A. Bradley, Esq.
    Of course. You don't need to wait until the criminal matter is over. If you were injured you should contact an experienced injury attorney right away.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 1/9/2013
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