Frequently Asked Questions About Justice For Victims Of Crimes
Victims of violent crimes or sexual assault may wish to take civil action against the responsible party. The compassionate lawyers at the Bellwoar Kelly, LLP are here to help. Below you will find general information on frequently asked questions about using a civil lawsuit to hold perpetrators liable.
Who Is Eligible To File A Claim?
To have grounds for a claim, the victim’s injuries or damages must be caused by someone else’s wrongdoing. For crime victims, this typically means a violent offense such as assault, rape or sexual assault. The first step towards compensation is speaking with an attorney to help you explore your legal options.
Who Can I File A Claim Against?
Pennsylvania law allows victims to bring a claim against the perpetrator and any other responsible parties. For instance, if a coworker attacked you at your place of work, you may be able to hold your employer liable for negligent hiring or other wrongdoing. Likewise, if you were sexually assaulted by a teacher, you may also have a claim against the school that employed the perpetrator.
Does The Defendant Need To Have Been Convicted?
In a civil lawsuit, it is not necessary for the defendant to have been convicted of criminal wrongdoing. However, a conviction would strengthen your claim. The burden of proof differs in civil cases. You only need to prove there is a greater chance than not the defendant committed a crime which caused you damage based on the evidence.
How Long After The Crime Do I Have To File A Lawsuit?
The statute of limitations (deadline for filing a lawsuit) varies depending on the circumstances. However, the sooner you involve a lawyer, the better. Our attorneys can advise you of the applicable time limit for your situation.