Clearing the confusion about whether car accident cases are criminal or civil matters

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Legal matters are often quite confusing for most people, and it becomes imperative to seek guidance from lawyers, regardless of the nature of the case. When you are involved in a car accident, you must immediately contact a New Hampshire Car Accident Lawyer who can critically examine the case and tell you whether it is a civil or criminal case. Unless you have a good understanding of the American legal system and the differences in the type of litigation, it is difficult to ascertain the nature of the case, which only a lawyer can.

The court usually hears both civil and criminal cases unless it is designated to hear any specific type of case. However, depending on the kind of litigation, different types of remedies and evidence are available. Most importantly, everyone cannot bring criminal or civil litigation which is why you must understand your rights to compensation after a car accident.

Civil litigation vs. criminal litigation

Remedies sought in the litigation differentiate civil litigation from criminal litigation. When two or more parties are involved in litigation with the objective of seeking money or performance, it comes under the category of civil litigation. A typical example is when the sale of a house becomes the goal of litigation. On the other hand, criminal litigation ends in a legal sanction like forced rehabilitation, fine or jail.  The compensation you receive in a personal injury case for the pain and suffering undergone by you is the outcome of civil litigation, and there is no room for seeking a criminal sanction. Similarly, you cannot seek civil remedies for criminal cases.

Criminal cases are distinctly different from civil cases because of the evidentiary standards required of the prosecution and plaintiff in every matter. A private individual is never allowed to instigate criminal proceedings, and the onus is on the Commonwealth whether to charge or prosecute an individual with criminal charges.

Civil car accident cases

When you are hurt in a car accident, you cannot start criminal litigation, and the remedy comes in the form of civil litigation by claiming compensation for the injuries, pain, and suffering. After a car accident, you can underline the causes of action from negligence, recklessness and wrongful death. Negligence is the most common cause of action that closely resembles extreme recklessness and amounts to a person’s inability to act within a reasonable standard of care.

Criminal car accident cases

If a car accident takes place on a private road without any traffic breach, there cannot be any criminal charge for negligence. Even in run over cases, there is a cause of action for negligence to recover for injuries in a civil court. However, cases of drunken driving and injuries caused by speeding drivers and aggressive drivers have enough merit to frame criminal charges against the erring drivers. At the same time, claiming compensation for injury comes within the domain of civil litigation.

Only a personal injury lawyer familiar with handling car accident cases can provide the right guidance in pursuing the case.

March 15, 2019 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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