Our Response to COVID-19. Learn More >
Call Us

Will a Criminal Conviction Help My Civil Suit?

Written by: Hagelgans and Veronis

Criminal Trials Impact your Civil Case

A criminal conviction can help your personal injury case, but a criminal trial has other impacts as well. Often victims must wait to file their personal injury lawsuit until after the criminal charges have been dealt with. In addition, pleading to lesser charges or being acquitted can complicate your case, even though it doesn’t preclude filing one.

It takes an experienced attorney like those at Hagelgans & Veronis to handle the ins and outs of a personal injury case involving criminal charges. Contact our experienced attorneys today at (717) 295-7009 for a free consultation.

How a Criminal Convction Helps Your Personal Injury Case

Once a criminal is found guilty in a court of law, or once they plead guilty to the crime, they are no longer allowed to dispute the factual evidence and circumstances of the case in a personal injury case. A conviction means that the court accepts the facts and evidence against the defendant as fact, and that cannot be changed in another court. 

As such, a criminal conviction can go a long way toward proving that the defendant caused your injuries. This is especially true in cases in which it is very clear that the injuries were caused intetionally or through a criminal act.

What Criminal Cases Might Result in a Personal Injury Case?

There are several criminal cases that might result in a personal injury case, including:

  • Assault and battery

  • Drunk driving

  • Reckless driving

  • Leaving the scene of an accident

  • Domestic violence

There are also some citations that can back up your personal injury case, such as speeding on the day of the accident, public drunkenness on the day of the accident, or a history of traffic violations.

Important Differences Between Criminal Trials and Civil Lawsuits

There is a big difference between crime and negligence. In a criminal trial, the prosecution must prove that a crime was committed. However, in a personal injury trial it must only be proven that the defendant was negligent. This means that you could still win your personal injury case even if criminal charges are dropped.

There is also a difference in the types of evidence presented. In a criminal case, evidence must be definititive, but in a personal injury case circumstantial evidence is every bit as important as tangible evidence. Only an experienced personal injury attorney can determine the evidence that needs to be gathered.

What is the Difference Between Restitution and Damages?

Restitution is an amount awarded to a victim in a criminal trial, meant to reimburse them for financial losses that are a direct result of the crime. Damages, on the other hand, are awarded in personal injury cases and designed to compensate a plaintiff for all of their financial losses, even future losses due to the injury. 

Restitution may not cover all of your out of pocket expenses, including:

  • potential ongoing or future medical treatment,

  • ongoing or future therapy for PTSD or related mental health concerns,

  • or stolen cash or property not part of the charges.

In addition, you get nothing for pain and suffering as a part of restitution. You should also know that the state of Pennsylvania ensures that criminals pay restitution as part of the criminal’s punishment, but collecting damages is more complicated. 

Hagelgans & Veronis Is Here for You

You should never assume that your needs will be met or your financial losses will be recovered as a result of a criminal case. It is important to file a personal injury claim promptly as soon as the criminal case is disposed. 

Let our experienced attorneys review your case to determine if you should file a personal injury lawsuit in addition to pressing criminal charges. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

Share This Story

If you find our personal injury law updates helpful, consider sharing this post to your social media to help your friends and family find current and reliable information.

Speak Directly with Our Attorneys

From the initial free consultation, your case will be handled by an experienced injury attorney, not a paralegal or legal secretary.

I Want To...
uploadcross linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram