Roswell Crime Victim Lawyer

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Sadly, crime is very common throughout the United States. When crimes occur, federal and state prosecutors are responsible for seeking justice and accountability on behalf of society. But what about crime victims themselves? Fortunately, the law provides them with a legal route toward compensation as well. If you suffered an injury or loss as the result of a crime, you should speak 

to an attorney as soon as possible to ensure that your right to compensation is not compromised. The legal team at Butler Kahn is ready to evaluate your case and make sure you know your rights and options. Call us today for a free, confidential consultation with an experienced attorney near you. Read on to learn more about the intersections of civil and criminal law.

National and State Crime Statistics

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), an estimated 1,203,808 violent crimes were committed in the United States in 2019. This translates to about 370 violent crimes for every 100,000 residents. The numbers break down by percentage as follows:

 Percentage of Total Violent CrimesFirearm Use
Aggravated assault68.2 percent27.6 percent
Robbery22.3 percent36.4 percent
Rape8.2 percentNot available
Murder1.4 percent73.7 percent

Further, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI), 187,977 crimes were committed within the state in 2021. Property crimes totaled 153,750, and violent crimes totaled 34,037. These numbers translate to a criminal offense every 2 minutes and 45 seconds, a non-violent offense every 3 minutes and 24 seconds, and a violent offense every 15 minutes and 26 seconds.

What Is the Difference Between a Civil and Criminal Case?

The purpose of a civil lawsuit, including those based on an underlying crime, is to resolve a conflict between private parties. The individual who files the case against the defendant is known as the plaintiff. More specifically, the purpose of a personal injury lawsuit is to provide parties injured at little to no fault of their own with a route toward compensation from the at-fault party. Fault in a civil case must be shown by a “preponderance of the evidence,” which essentially means that the defendant’s culpability must be at least more likely than not. If this is successfully shown, the court will order that the defendant compensate the plaintiff for their injuries and losses. By contrast, the goal of a criminal prosecution is to redress an offense against society itself by determining whether someone charged with a crime is guilty. Guilt must be proved “beyond a reasonable doubt,” which requires near certainty that the person charged actually committed the crime. If guilty, a court will impose an appropriate sentence as punishment. Depending on the nature and severity of the crime, penalties may include jail time, fines, probation, and restitution to crime victims.

What Types of Civil Crime Victim Cases Do We Handle?

If you suffered an injury or loss as the result of a crime, you may be entitled to compensation through a civil lawsuit. The experienced attorneys at Butler Kahn are ready to help you secure full and fair compensation in civil court. We have the experience and skill to handle a wide variety of civil crime victim cases, including those involving:

  • Assault
  • Battery
  • Homicide
  • Vehicular homicide
  • Domestic violence
  • Sexual assault/abuse
  • Elder abuse
  • Nursing home neglect and abuse
  • Kidnapping
  • Stalking
  • Police brutality
  • Burglaries and robberies
  • Arson

What Compensation Can I Recover in a Crime Victim Lawsuit?

Victims have several legal routes to secure compensation for a crime. This section explores each in turn.

  • Compensatory damages – This form of damages is awarded in civil cases to compensate for economic and non-economic losses. Depending on the severity of your injuries and losses sustained because of the crime, you may be compensated for medical expenses, lost income, pain, suffering, and more. Further, if the crime victim was killed, their family may seek compensation through a wrongful death suit, and their estate may do so by filing a survival action.
  • Punitive damages – Unlike economic and non-economic damages, which are awarded to the plaintiff as compensation, punitive damages (sometimes known as exemplary damages) are awarded as punishment for the defendant. Though rarely granted, this form of damages may be available in civil cases involving seriously irresponsible, malicious, or otherwise reprehensible behavior.
  • Restitution – This form of compensation is not available in civil cases. Instead, restitution may be awarded to victims as part of a defendant’s sentencing if they are found guilty in a criminal prosecution.
  • Crime Victim Compensation Funds – Finally, crime victims in Georgia can also seek compensation through the state’s Crime Victims Compensation Program. The purpose of this program is to reduce the financial burden that many crime victims face by providing qualifying individuals with up to $25,000 per incident.

Is There a Time Limit to File a Case?

Yes, though determining the civil statute of limitation in a case involving a crime can be complex and should be handled by an experienced attorney. In most cases involving injury, victims are given two years from the date of injury to file their claim in court. If the victim of the crime was killed, their loved ones also have two years from the date of death to file a wrongful death or survival action. However, these civil deadlines may be extended (“tolled”) if the defendant is also being prosecuted for the crime that gave rise to the plaintiff’s injuries or losses. The extension ends when the prosecution is complete or after six years have passed, whichever comes first. Further, if the victim is a minor, the deadline may be extended to two years after their eighteenth birthday or, in cases involving childhood sexual abuse, to two years after their twenty-third birthday. No matter which deadline governs, it is essential that plaintiffs speak to an attorney early on. This will ensure that the deadline is not missed, as well as that no evidence is lost or compromised. If you miss the filing deadline, courts are nearly always forced to dismiss your case.

Contact a Roswell Crime Victim Lawyer Today

At Butler Kahn, our skilled legal team is committed to helping crime victims exercise their right to full and fair compensation. We firmly believe that every crime victim deserves the best legal representation possible on their path toward compensation. We proudly provide that representation to crime victims throughout Georgia. We are ready to help you too. Call us today for a free, confidential consultation with a compassionate attorney near you.

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1255 Canton St UNIT E Roswell, GA 30075

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