Criminal activity often leads to financial consequences for those affected. A victim of a mugging or burglary has to cope with not just the loss of their property but the emotional trauma of a crime that feels very personal because it involves direct threats against them or someone invading their safest place. Those hurt by a drunk driver could have life-altering injuries and a vehicle that they can no longer drive or use as a trade-in for a newer vehicle.
The victims negatively impacted by criminal activity in Georgia sometimes have the right to seek compensation for the impact of the crime on their household. The state has a compensation program that can offer you up to $25,000 in benefits, but that could fall well short of the actual impact of the crime on your life.
A civil lawsuit can be an important tool for individuals affected by criminal activity in Georgia.
Civil justice is separate from criminal justice
You may have learned after contacting the police that there simply wasn’t enough information for them to arrest and charge the other party. Maybe the police did arrest the other individual, but the prosecutor didn’t bring charges or offered a very lenient plea bargain.
You may feel as though the state has denied you justice. Even if the prosecution was unsuccessful or if the penalties don’t reflect how serious the impact was on your household, the civil courts can offer you a secondary form of justice that has a lower standard of evidence.
You can bring a financial claim against the person who committed the crime or possibly other parties involved in the situation. A claim against the criminal could result in an adjudication of fault and an award of financial compensation. Sometimes, businesses and other third parties that helped contribute to the situation can face claims as well. Negligent security and poor background check practices when hiring are among the reasons a business could face a civil claim related to a crime.
A civil claim against a criminal can help you in two ways
If you bring a successful claim against someone who committed the crime against you or your personal property, there will be two direct benefits to your lawsuit.
Obviously, financial compensation for your injuries or property losses can help you move on from the trauma of being a crime victim or at least feel like you don’t have to pay the price for someone else’s misconduct. Having the courts affirm that the other party is responsible, especially if there wasn’t a conviction in criminal court, can also give you a sense of closure and vindication.
Pursuing civil justice as the victim of a crime can absolutely be worth the effort involved in the lawsuit process.