Can I Sue for Injuries I Sustain During an Assault?
Individuals who perform criminal acts potentially face two types of prosecution. Is this the best word? Or might it be confusing to the lay person?) Regardless of the type of offense, they can deal with criminal charges, which result in penalties and possible jail time in the event of conviction. But when their actions cause injuries to others, the injured parties can pursue damages in a civil personal injury lawsuit as well.
With certain exceptions, the New Jersey statute of limitations gives victims two years from the date of the incident to file a claim. And this action is separate and distinct from any criminal actions, which follow different standards of proof from civil suits.
In fact, even if a defendant receives a not-guilty verdict in a criminal case, the defendant may still prevail within civil courts, which rely on a preponderance of the evidence as opposed to the more difficult standard of “evidence beyond a reasonable doubt" required in a criminal case. This distinction is vital in helping to ensure that individuals injured in criminal acts have a fair prospect of successfully pursuing damages from the liable parties.
But taking any form of action against an individual who also faces criminal charges involves a potentially complex legal process simply because you have to coordinate your claim with the criminal actions against the defendant. An experienced personal injury attorney can help ensure your claim falls within the statute of limitations and that you file an effective claim regardless of the outcome of the criminal trial.