A contributed post by Jason Ferguson of Ferguson Law Group.

There are numerous aspects to consider if you have been wounded in a car accident. Some collisions are criminal matters, so the person who caused the crash may be criminally charged with causing harm to you or your family. You may also have a civil claim against the same person if the collision wasn't a criminal matter. 

Before delving into whether motor vehicle incidents are criminal or civil problems (or possibly both), it's important to have a basic understanding of the American legal system and the distinctions between different types of litigation. Although judges hear both civil and criminal matters, there are no separate courthouses or judges because of all of these factors.

However, depending on the type of suit, different standards of evidence and remedies are available. Furthermore, not everyone can file a criminal or civil complaint, which is why it's critical to understand your rights to compensation following an Arizona car accident. Talk to a car accident attorney about this - if you need to hire a personal injury lawyer then Ferguson Law Group is the best option.

Criminal and Civil Litigation: What's the Difference?

Since the lawsuit's purpose is compensation, things, or money, a civil lawsuit is sometimes referred to as a case involving a few parties seeking compensation, things, or money. For example, filing a property litigation case due to incorrect information about the property sold can be identified as a civil case. 

The criminal trial, on the other hand, is viewed as litigation with a legal consequence, forced rehabilitation, or perhaps incarceration as the result. You can't ask for a criminal penalty in a civil case, and you can't ask for a civil penalty in a criminal case, such as compensation for pain and suffering following an accident. These are also distinct due to the high evidence standards that the prosecution or plaintiff must meet in every case.

In a legal matter, the party who filed the action seeking a settlement will not simply establish an occurrence by a "preponderance of these signs" at trial. That is another way of saying to grant a plaintiff financial compensation, the accusations must be 51 percent true. Because no prison time or legal penalties are involved, this requirement is much lower than it would be in a criminal case.

Finally, there is a significant difference between criminal and civil litigation in terms of their ability to generate a lawsuit. A private individual may never bring a criminal case against another person. Arizona courts may bring civil claims against both the nation and a private individual.

Mitigation of Arizona Injury and Motor Vehicle Accidents

Because private individuals are unlikely to face criminal charges, if you were injured in an automobile accident, your remedy is most likely to come in the form of a civil suit. Following an automobile accident, you file three main causes of action in civil court:  

  • Unjust death

  • Being careless

  • Being irresponsible

Negligence happens when a person does not conduct in a manner that reflects a high level of attention. The following components should be established to maintain a negligence claim:

1. Liability - The motorist was responsible for operating a vehicle safely and reasonably. 

2. Caution - Involvement in a car crash as a result of the motorist's infringement.

To award you compensation for your injuries in a civil lawsuit, the judge must only believe that another driver was held more likely than not.

Cases of Criminal Car Wrecks

A serious car accident will almost always result in criminal prosecution as well as a civil action. If you were harmed by a drunk driver, a speeding motorist, or someone who just drove erratically, those people might face criminal prosecution. Traffic tickets are technically a part of this legal justice system. As a result, ticket adjudication is regarded as a legal proceeding. A civil case to reclaim damages for injuries caused by such people's negligence is a lengthy process.

The treatment of this situation will be determined by the facts of this instance and the temperament of one's harms. For example, if a drunk driver rear-ends and totals your car, but your injuries are minor and you haven't incurred physical damage, you may not need to file a civil case as a result of a computer-based analysis. However, if the inebriated driver has been charged with a DUI, you can request that "restitution" be included in the sentencing. Restitution refers to compensation for out-of-pocket payments incurred in the purchase or rental of a car. 

If you were involved in an automobile accident and feel the driver is facing criminal charges, consult with an experienced attorney from an Accident law company to assess your potential compensation. The attorneys at Ferguson Law Group can aid you in making the right decision for your loved ones, whether it's settling with an insurance company, seeking compensation, or even bringing a civil action for bodily injury and pain and suffering.

About the Author

Jason M. Ferguson, the founder of Ferguson Law Group, started his career working for an automobile insurance company as a trial attorney before owning his injury law firm for over 20 years. Attorney Ferguson has a unique experience, having tried cases on both sides of the court system in personal injury trials, unlike many other lawyers. Mr. Ferguson also served over 14 years as an Army Reserve officer and the Georgia Air National Guard. The Albany Herald recognized him as one of southwest Georgia’s “40 under 40” in 2010.