Almost 1.2 million violent crimes were committed in the U.S. throughout 2017, according to the FBI’s latest report on crime statistics. Aggravated assaults were the leading violent crime committed, followed by robbery, then rape, and lastly murder. If you or a loved one has been the victim of a crime, you may have the right to pursue a civil lawsuit for compensation. Contact our office today to speak with an attorney of Koonz, McKenney, Johnson, DePaolis & Lightfoot, LLP today. We offer free consultations and will discuss your legal rights to compensation. Call or fill out our online contact form.
Crime victims have the right to file civil charges against offenders, regardless of if there has been a conviction in criminal court. Civil action will hold the offender accountable for financial damages as well as help prevent future crimes. Common crimes that victims seek civil justice for, include:
Damages typically awarded to victims for their injuries include compensatory damages, punitive or pecuniary damages. Compensatory damages are payments for actual financial losses, punitive damages are meant to punish the offender for their malicious actions, and pecuniary damages are for recuperating lost income or a loss of potential income.
Civil lawsuits may also be brought against third parties, if they are in someway liable for the crime. For example, if you are assaulted in a parking lot, the property owner may be liable if there had been a pattern of criminal activity and they failed to increase security.
There are time limits for filing civil suits, known as statutes of limitations, that vary in length from state to state. In the District of Columbia, the set statute of limitation for a personal injury claim is two years. A suit filed after that time cannot proceed.
In certain circumstances, in particular those involving victims of child sexual abuse or victims with repressed memories, the time in which they can file suit is extended.
Although there is a time limit on filing a personal injury lawsuit, judgments obtained are valid for at least 20 years and possibly longer. This means that if an offender has no currently viable assets, a victim may seize assets in the future.
After suffering a crime, the last thing you need to do is attempt to navigate the complex civil justice system, when instead you can be focusing on recovering. By hiring a crime victim lawyer, all of the paperwork and filing will be completed for you. There may be multiple defendants involved, which can make a case even more complicated. Hiring trusted legal representation with experience in crime victim advocacy will be your best chance for holding the offender liable for your losses.
Our team of attorneys at Koonz, McKenney, Johnson, DePaolis & Lightfoot, LLP have a significant amount of experience helping crime victims obtain compensation. Contact us us today so we may advise you of your legal options in a free consultation.