Suing For Injuries After A Fight
If you have suffered injuries after being attacked, assaulted, or defending yourself in a fight that you did not instigate, you may be unsure of what your options are legally or what steps to take. The good news is that you may have avenues for recovery available to you. In South Carolina, when someone causes you physical harm, either due to negligence, recklessness, or intentionally malicious conduct, they become liable for any harm that results.
Understanding Criminal Charges vs. Civil Lawsuits
When someone breaks the law, such as by attacking or physically assaulting you, you have the option to bring criminal charges against them. If you choose to bring these charges, they will be tried in a criminal court for the alleged crime. In order to determine their guit, the allegations will be held to a very high standard of proof. In order to establish guilt, it must be shown “beyond a reasonable doubt” that the crime occurred as alleged. If this standard of proof is met, then the accused party can be held accountable by being sentenced. However, there is rarely any restorative action taken to help repair the damage done to the person who was harmed. That is where civil lawsuits come in. A personal injury lawsuit aims to restore someone to the position they would have been in had they never been injured. This can include compensation for all expenses related to the harm, including medical expenses, physical therapy, lost wages, and compensation for pain and suffering. The standard of proof for civil lawsuits is significantly lower than it is for criminal claims. While criminal claims must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, civil claims must only be proved “more likely than not.” A 51% chance that it happened as alleged is sufficient to find in favor of the plaintiff in civil court.
It’s important to understand that criminal charges and a civil lawsuit are not mutually exclusive. You are welcome to bring both, either, or neither. However, due to the heightened standard of proof in criminal court, a finding of guilt in criminal court would be incredibly compelling in civil court. If you suffered serious injuries and financial harm as the result of an assault and the person who caused your harm was held accountable in criminal court, it makes sense to consider moving forward with a civil lawsuit as well. Contact an experienced South Carolina personal injury attorney who can review the facts and circumstances of your case and determine the best path forward to recovery.
Talk to a South Carolina Personal Injury Lawyer
If you have suffered injuries as the result of an assault or attack, you can hold the person who hurt you accountable by bringing a personal injury lawsuit and recovering from your damages. Contact the Gus Anastopoulo Law Firm today to schedule a consultation and find out how Charleston personal injury lawyer Gus Anastopoulo will fight to protect your rights and ensure the best possible outcome in your case.