Drunk driving is a crime, but not every person who causes a car accident while under the influence of alcohol gets criminal penalties. The civil courts and criminal courts operate independently of each other, so a Miami car accident lawyer can help you seek compensation if the drunk driver who caused your injuries was never convicted of DUI in criminal court.
How are Civil and Criminal Cases Different?
Most of the court cases you hear about on the news or see dramatized in movies are criminal cases, but most of the ones in which you or people you know well have been directly involved are civil cases. If you have ever gotten divorced, settled a deceased family member’s estate, or faced a lawsuit about an unpaid debt, the legal proceedings took place in civil court. Personal injury lawsuits are civil cases. As in many civil matters, the plaintiff in a personal injury lawsuit is asking the court to order the defendant to pay monetary compensation to the plaintiff to compensate the plaintiff for financial losses caused by the defendant’s negligence. The plaintiff can win the case if they can persuade that a preponderance of the evidence shows that the defendant’s negligence directly caused the plaintiff’s financial losses.