Can Victims of Crime Sue Perpetrators?

Posted on April 28, 2016 in Civil Law, Lawsuits

If you have ever been the victim of a violent crime, you might be wondering what recourse you have. Violent crime victims are often left physically and emotionally harmed, but they can also experience significant financial loss. To make matters worse, victims often see their perpetrators walk free due to insufficient evidence.

Even when the courts rule in their favor, victims are still left paying for the damages on their own. This leaves them feeling lost and confused. It is important for victims to fully understand the options that are available to them. Most are unaware that they can sue their perpetrator to compensate for their loss.

When Can Victims Sue

Even when victims are aware of the possibility of taking legal action, they are not sure when they can do it. They believe they have no recourse if they lose in court and their perpetrator goes free. But you can sue even if the courts find the other party innocent in the criminal proceeding.

Most victims are unaware that civil cases are separate from criminal cases, which is what makes it possible to sue. But to succeed, you must have evidence of financial loss or emotional damage; therefore, you must pursue your case as soon as possible. As time goes by, your chance of winning is diminished. The most famous recent examples of this were the criminal and civil cases against O.J. Simpson in the 90s.

How to Sue

When you want to pursue a civil case for damages accrued due to criminal activity, it is vital you know the proper steps to take. If you have not already done so, you must file a report with local law enforcement. Next, you need to contact a lawyer and present your evidence. Many people make the mistake of not hiring the right lawyer for the task.

It is vital you ensure the lawyer you hire is experienced in retrieving compensation for crime victims, which optimizes your chance of success. You lawyer will prepare your case and present it. Next, you and the perpetrator will go before a jury or a judge. If you can display sufficient evidence, the court will likely rule in your favor, and you will receive the compensation you deserve.

Final Thoughts

Being the victim of a crime can cause anxiety and depression, and it can leave you feeling lost and confused. It is vital you take the proper steps to ensure you retrieve compensation for your damages; otherwise, you will likely get stuck paying for property damage or medical bills out of your own pocket. You must first report the crime and hire a lawyer. Your lawyer will help you prepare your case and present your evidence to a judge.

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