People involved in a personal injury case often wonder exactly what’s at stake. One of the main questions you may have is about the possible penalties in a personal injury case. If you’re suing someone, you might wonder if they’ll face jail time if you win the case. If you’re the defendant in this type of case, you may fear you could go to jail if you don’t prevail in court.
The following information from Las Vegas personal injury attorneys explains the main points of a personal injury case and clears up the questions you may have about penalties:
Civil vs. criminal law
A personal injury case is handled as a civil case. These types of cases don’t involve any jail or prison time. Criminal cases, on the other hand, can result in incarceration.
Ultimately, a civil case – such as a personal injury suit – involves money rather than jail time. If you are suing someone and the judge or jury finds in your favor, you’ll be able to collect damages (money) to help compensate you for your injuries. You may receive money to help pay medical bills, for lost work time, and provide money for any pain and suffering you may have endured because of the injury.
Who brings the case?
Another difference between civil cases such as a personal injury case and a criminal case is that representatives of the government charge someone with a criminal act. These prosecutors will decide whether to bring a case to court, where the defendant can face prison time, probation, and/or fines if he or she is found guilty.
A different level of proof
Another key difference between criminal and civil cases is the standard of proof applied to these types of cases. In a criminal case, the burden of proof is very high. The government’s representatives must prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. In a civil case, however, the plaintiff and his or her Las Vegas personal injury attorneys must prove the case by a preponderance of evidence.