Why Hire a Civil Liability Lawyer?
Crimes are bad enough, but crimes that hurt innocent people make us angry. Very angry. Especially when victims are left alone to pick up the pieces.
If this sounds like you, taking action in a civil suit can be a way to start healing – and help pay for your physical and financial damages.
Civil Versus Criminal Law
In a criminal case, a jury helps determine whether someone is guilty of a crime and what their punishment should be. In order to find someone “guilty,” laws say that the evidence must prove their guilt “beyond a reasonable doubt.” In other words, they have to be almost 100 percent sure.
In a civil suit, you have more control – and more options.
Civil cases are all about proving how much damage (time out of work, medical bills, etc.) the perpetrators actions more than likely caused. The “burden of proof” in civil cases is a standard called “preponderance of the evidence,” which basically means it seems more likely than unlikely they were “at fault.” – 51 percent sure, if you will.
The OJ Simpson trials are well-known examples of these types of cases. In the criminal case, he was found “not guilty,” because the jury felt there was some room for doubt. However, he lost the civil case as the jury believed it was more likely than not that he had contributed to the victims’ deaths.
Further, in a civil case, you can hold other negligent parties accountable – like the bar that continually pumps their customers full of alcohol and takes no action when they see them leave to drive home. Or the daycare that hires a repeat sex offender, because they never took the time to do a proper background check.
And by taking action against these entities too, you may help keep others from the same fate.
What a Civil Liability Lawyer Does
The first thing a civil liability lawyer should do is gather evidence. In a criminal case, the prosecutor (oftentimes the district attorney) will investigate your case. However, district attorneys are government officials – they often have large caseloads and small budgets. Not to mention their job is to punish the criminal, not to make sure your needs are met.
Civil liability lawyers are paid to give your case the individual attention it needs. Their priority is to try to make sure you’re properly compensated, and they may have more resources to devote to your case.
A civil liability lawyer, may investigate other entities the criminal prosecution may have skipped over (like the bar or daycare, mentioned in the section above), to see if any negligent acts created an atmosphere that made the crime possible.
Finally, your lawyer should research any assets or insurance policies these people or entities have, leaving no stone unturned, and then go after all of the available coverage, fighting for the maximum compensation for you and your family.
How Are Civil Liability Lawyers Paid?
At our firm, and this is the case for many civil liability lawyers, we receive an attorney’s fee based on the amount we’re able to recover on your behalf.
This fee is deducted from the final settlement, so there are no upfront costs. While a case may have fees and costs associated with it, there is no hourly fee charged by our firm. Simply put, if you don’t recover compensation from your claim, there is no attorney’s fee - guaranteed.
It doesn’t matter how much time or effort we put into your case. It’s all about fighting for the best result we can possibly get for you.
When To Hire a Civil Liability Lawyer
If you suffered physical or financial damages after a crime, we recommend that you contact an attorney as soon as possible.
You only have a limited amount of time to file a claim in the state of North Carolina, and without taking action quickly, some evidence may be lost or compromised.
You do not need to wait for the criminal to be found or convicted.
Remember: liability cases are all about proving damages, so the closer to the date of the injury, the more evidence an attorney can likely gather. Establishing a criminal’s guilt may help, but you do not need it to pursue a case. An experienced civil liability lawyer will be able to work with the prosecutor for the best timing to present your case.
If you’ve been hurt, please click here to contact a civil liability lawyer. Our caring staff is ready to listen to your story, and if we can help, we’ll guide you step-by-step through this difficult process and fight for you until it’s over.