Are Personal Injury Cases Civil Or Criminal?
Personal Injury cases are the disputes that arise when one party (the plaintiff) suffers from an accident or an assault caused by another (the defendant). Personal injury cases do not include suicide attempts and self harm incidents. Every citizen has legal rights in case of a personal injury and for the implementation of these rights, one has to talk to an attorney and file a case against the defendant. The case can be formalized through the civil court and the court decides whether the defendant is legally at fault or not.
Such disputes can also be solved informally where both parties agree on compensation and sign a written document stating that none of the parties involved will take the case to the civil court. The plaintiff should not agree on an informal compensation without knowing their legal rights. Mostly, people involved in mishaps such as car accidents solve such disputes informally where one party pays for the damage control and agree not to continue the dispute.
Formal lawsuits, unlike other criminal cases, are initiated by the plaintiff not the government. He/she can file a civil complaint against a person, business organization, or a government agency if the defendant was responsible for the harm done or if the injury was caused due to irresponsibility of the defendant.
Statutes of limitation are the rules established by the state law and they vary depending upon the extent of the injury. There are different statutes of limitation in every state but since personal injuries vary on a larger scale, the statutes for compensation are not fully determined. Such cases are mostly dealt by the civil court for practical purposes and in these cases, the decision of the court remains important. Every case is dealt with in a different and suitable way to conclude if the defendant is at fault. The defendant is then sentenced accordingly. This flexibility is due to the lack of fixed statutes of limitations as every personal injury case is unique in its own way.
The intent of the defendant distinguishes a criminal case from a personal injury case. Personal injury cases are merely dealt with in a civil court and the defendant is usually indirectly responsible for the damage caused. In such a case, the defendant usually pays for the compensation. If the injury is caused by intention, it becomes an assault case. An assault or a criminal case requires stronger evidence and the guilty (defendant) is penalized based on the nature of the arraignment.
Criminal cases are a type of personal injury cases but they differ on basis of the criminal intentions of the defendant, thus the court requires stronger documentation and confirmation before sentencing the guilty defendant. Both types fall in the same category because these cases are initiated by the plaintiff, not a government body like police. It should be kept in mind that if a person gets involved in any case of personal injury, one should talk to an attorney with expertise in civil law to avoid any bereavement of his/her legal rights as a citizen. Especially, cases involving property damage or bodily harm should be taken to the court without any hesitation so that the plaintiff gets maximum benefits they deserve.