Kentucky filed a criminal case against the person who caused my loved one’s brain injury. Should we still bring a personal injury lawsuit?

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judge's gavel on white backgroundIn many cases, the answer is yes. If the actions that caused your loved one’s brain injury are considered criminal, the person who committed them will also likely be considered liable for the harm he caused. The Commonwealth of Kentucky may pursue a criminal case, and the person injured, or his representatives, may pursue a civil case. For example, a drunk driver may be charged with a crime in Kentucky, and anyone injured by the drunk driver may also bring a personal injury lawsuit.

Differences Between Criminal and Civil Lawsuits

While the state may pursue a criminal case and the injured party may pursue a civil case based on the same facts, the two lawsuits are very different. Even if both cases are successful, criminal and civil lawsuits have:

  • Different purposes. Criminal cases are brought by the government to hold people accountable for breaking the law and to keep society safe. Civil cases are brought by injured people seeking financial compensation for the injuries they suffered.
  • Different outcomes. In a criminal case, the defendant may be sentenced to jail, or a fine may be imposed. In a civil case, the defendant will not serve jail time but may need to pay the injured party for all of the past and future damages the defendant caused.
  • Different standards of proof. Since a criminal defendant may lose his freedom, the state must prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt. In a civil case, the plaintiff must prove that it is more likely than not that the defendant caused the injury.

For these reasons, it is essential for your loved one, or his representative, to pursue a brain injury lawsuit even if a criminal case is brought against the person who caused the brain injury.

Talk to a Brain Injury Lawyer ASAP

Do not rely on the state’s criminal case to provide you with damages in a brain injury case. Instead, schedule a free consultation with an experienced Kentucky brain injury lawyer. We can represent you whether or not a criminal case is pending. Call us or start a live chat with us now to learn more.

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