Whenever injured as a direct result of another person’s negligent actions, you have the right to seek compensation for damages that accompany that injury. This is true even when a criminal case is pursued over the matter. After all, a criminal charge will not aid you in repaying medical bills, nor will it compensate you for emotional damages. However, not every criminally-charged case will make sense for you to pursue in personal injury court. More so than other types of personal injury, navigating this kind of case will require the guidance of an experienced professional.
The best way to determine if you have a solid case is to consult a knowledgeable personal injury attorney in Miami, like those at Graham Legal. To help you get started our team is sharing some valuable information about navigating a personal injury case when a crime has been committed.
Who can I sue?
Any criminal action that results in an injury can be grounds for a personal injury case, permitted you can prove that another individual’s neglect directly contributed to your injury. For instance, if you were physically attacked by another person and sustained one or more injuries, the attacker should be held liable for any injuries sustained due to his or her actions. While a criminal conviction is one step to getting justice, recovering damages is another critical leap for doing so.
That said, the individual charged with a crime may not be the only negligent party to hold responsible. If you are attacked in an area where a business owner has failed to take reasonable steps to protect your safety, meaning you suffered a foreseeable injury that could have been prevented, you may have a personal injury case against the business as well. Your lawyer can help you demonstrate that the crime was preventable had the business owner taken sufficient action, whether that meant installing adequate lighting, having security present, or another method of protecting you on the property.
In other instances, there may be other parties to explore recovering damages from. To offer one example, if a car owner’s negligent actions cause his car to get stolen, and the thief is involved in an accident and you are injured, you may have a case against the negligent car owner. Alternatively, if you were attacked or sustained an injury as a result of criminal activity while working, you may have a claim for worker’s compensation. Parties who can be held liable will ultimately depend on your unique situation.
How to recover damages
As with all types of personal injury, the process for recovering damages will involve consulting a skilled personal injury lawyer. Damages might include anything from medical costs, to pain and suffering and even lost wages. Even before enlisting an attorney, you should be sure to report the crime immediately. When doing so, you should obtain a copy of the police report to gain contact information to key witnesses that will prove useful as you pursue your case.
From there, your attorney will utilize the information within the police report, as well as your personal account and liability expertise, to determine who you should take legal action against. It is important to note that these proceedings will occur in civil court, entirely separate from the charges pursued in criminal court. On that note, even if the accused is deemed not guilty in the criminal trial, you may still be able to recover damages in civil court.
If you believe you have a case, the time to contact a personal injury attorney in Miami is now. Give our office a call today to schedule a free consultation, so that we can begin the process of seeking justice together.