Is an accident case a criminal case? Depending on the nature of the accident, it may be both a civil and criminal case. Accidents can range from minor fender benders to catastrophic crashes resulting in serious injuries or death. When someone is involved in an accident, the legal consequences may vary depending on the circumstances. Read on to learn what you can expect from the legal process if you are in an accident.
Civil and Criminal Accident Cases: What Are the Differences?
Generally, an accident case is a civil matter, which means it goes through the legal system’s civil court process. Civil cases are disputes between individuals or entities that often involve issues related to money, property, or contracts. For example, in an accident case, the injured party may file a civil lawsuit, seeking compensation for injuries, property damage, or other losses resulting from the accident.
However, an accident case may also qualify as criminal in certain situations. This often happens when the accident involves a violation of criminal law, such as driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, reckless driving, or a hit-and-run. In these situations, the driver at fault may face criminal charges and any civil lawsuits the victim files against them.
So, What Happens?
The case will go through the criminal justice system when an accident involves criminal charges. The government prosecutes criminal matters. If the court finds the driver guilty, they may face penalties such as fines, imprisonment, or probation. The criminal justice system is focused on punishing offenders and deterring future criminal behavior, while the civil court system focuses on compensating victims for their losses.
It’s important to note that even if an accident does not qualify as a criminal case, the driver at fault may still be liable for damages in a civil lawsuit. In these cases, the burden of proof is lower than in a criminal case, and the driver may be responsible for any damages they caused, even if they were not found guilty of any criminal charges.
Secure Reliable Legal Counsel at Massey Law
Whether your accident case goes through the civil court process, criminal justice system, or both, you need trusted legal representation. At Massey Law, our injury attorneys can confidently help you navigate the legal process. We are focused on protecting your rights and strive to help you achieve an optimal outcome for your case, no matter the circumstances.
Is your accident case a criminal case? Then, contact our award-winning Georgia attorneys for a free consultation, and we can help you determine the best path forward.