Standing Up For The Rights Of Crime Victims
Criminal behavior takes an immense toll on the lives of victims. On top of the indignity and injuries (physical, financial and emotional) stemming from the crime itself, you may also encounter stress and frustration in dealing with the criminal justice system.
Unfortunately, that system isn’t perfect. Victims aren’t always treated fairly, and the results aren’t always just.
What Types Of Claims Might You Have?
Civil lawsuits provide another pathway for victims to obtain justice. Regardless of the course and outcome of the criminal case, you may have a strong claim against the perpetrator for:
- Wrongful death (on behalf of a loved one)
- False imprisonment
- Intentional or negligent infliction of emotional distress
You may also have a claim against third parties whose negligence made the crime possible — for example:
- Financial institutions
- Colleges and schools
- Day care providers
- Nursing homes and assisted living facilities
- Religious institutions
- Landlords and property managers
- Restaurants and bars
These claims might include:
- Negligent security against property owners who failed to keep their premises reasonably safe
- Dram shop liability against liquor establishments and social hosts who over served a drunk driver
- Negligent hiring against employers who failed to conduct proper background checks or take proper disciplinary actions against the employee who committed the crime
Let Us Help — Personal Injury Attorneys And Former Prosecutors
At the Bellwoar Kelly, LLP, we’re committed to securing justice on behalf of victims of crime. Whether you’ve been a victim of sexual assault, theft, drunk driving or another offense, you can rely on our attorneys for knowledgeable and compassionate guidance each step of the way.
Our legal team includes former prosecutors, which means we understand the similarities and differences between criminal and personal injury law. This wide breadth of experience gives our lawyers the ability to represent you with skill and discretion.
The Advantages Of A Civil Claim
Civil litigation is much different from criminal cases. From the start, you have more control over the case. You’re in charge — not the prosecutor. You can decide whether to settle the case or fight at trial. You’ll have a lot more say in how to pursue your rights.
Civil cases also involve a lesser standard of proof. Rather than the high bar of “beyond a reasonable doubt,” you’ll only have to prove your case by a “preponderance of the evidence,” meaning “more likely than not.” As a result, it’s possible to prevail in a civil case even if the defendant was found not guilty in the criminal case.
These claims offer broader accountability than criminal cases. You can seek justice against not only the perpetrator, but also third parties who may have been partly responsible.
Finally, through a civil case, you have a better chance at getting the full and fair compensation you deserve.