Were you the victim of a crime? A crime can have a number of dramatic effects on your life, ranging from physical injuries, PTSD and other health issues that could result in significant medical bills, an inability to work, the loss of a loved one, the loss of your belongings or even the loss of your home.
Crime can impact you in many ways. But in addition to the proceedings in criminal court, you may also pursue a case in civil court, seeking compensation from the person (or people) who victimized you, along with anyone else whose actions (or inaction) played an instrumental role in the crime.
The burden of proof in the civil court is significantly less than the burden of proof that is required in the criminal courts. So even if a suspect was found “not guilty” in the criminal court system, you may still have a viable claim in the civil court system.
At The Law Offices of Michael S. Lamonsoff, PLLC, our experienced team of New York victims rights attorneys are here to help you seek justice in civil court by filing a civil lawsuit. Our goal is to represent victims and their interests, striving to help each and every client to get the compensation they deserve.
If you or a loved one was the victim of a crime and you would like to learn more about the possibility of filing a civil suit, contact the experienced New York victims rights attorneys at The Law Offices of Michael S. Lamonsoff, PLL. With over 100 years of collective experience, we know what it takes to present a compelling case to the courts. Contact our legal team today to arrange a confidential, no-cost case consultation. Call 877-MSL-4LAW.
Our Victim Lawyers Address Common Questions on Filing a Claim in Civil Court
At The Law Offices of Michael S. Lamonsoff, PLLC, we routinely get questions from victims and their loved ones as they seek to learn more about their rights and the options that are available as they work to re-build their lives in the wake of a crime.
The following is a look at some of the most common questions that we address with our clients.
Who Can a Crime Victim Name in a Civil Lawsuit?
As the victim of a crime, you have the right to seek restitution from the individual who is responsible for victimizing you. In addition to seeking restitution for anything that was stolen, damaged or lost as a result of the crime, you can also seek out compensation for medical expenses (including mental health treatment for PTSD and any other mental health issues arising from the event) and lost wages, amongst other damages.
A civil suit may also be filed against another party whose actions or inactions played an instrumental in the crime. For example, let’s say that you were sexually assaulted by a man who broke into your home via a door with a damaged lock. You had previously asked your landlord to fix the lock, but he had failed to perform the repair. In this situation, you may opt to file a civil lawsuit against the landlord since his inaction made it possible for the crime to occur.
In cases where an individual dies as the result of a criminal action, the victim’s surviving family members may have a claim to damages.
What is the New York State Crime Victim Fund?
New York has a special Crime Victim Fund, which exists to provide financial assistance to victims who need help paying for funeral expenses, medical bills and lost wages, amongst other losses.
In order to be eligible to collect from the Crime Victim Fund, you must prove that you have exhausted other options (such as filing an insurance claim). There are also caps on reimbursement. For example, funeral expenses are typically capped at $6,000, while lost wages are usually capped at $30,000.
A civil lawsuit provides you with an alternative option for obtaining the funds you need to rebuild your life. A victim’s rights attorney can also help you to hold others financially accountable for the actions or inactions that led to your victimization.
Doesn’t the Criminal Court Order Guilty Parties to Pay Restitution?
In many cases, the criminal court will order a guilty party to pay restitution to the victim. But in many cases, the victim will have to wait years to see reimbursement. Some never receive any reimbursement at all.
This is especially common in cases where the guilty party lacks assets and/or the party is sentenced to a lengthy jail term. The party may die before their release date, or they may emerge from prison as a senior citizen who is unable to earn an income.
What if the Suspect Was Found “Not Guilty” at Trial? Can I Still File a Civil Lawsuit?
Civil lawsuit attorneys can help you, as a victim, to file a lawsuit regardless of the trial verdict.
Famously, OJ Simpson was found “not guilty” in the criminal courts, but he was still found liable in a civil lawsuit that was brought forth by the victims’ families. And while the OJ Simpson case occurred in California, New York civil law allows for the same type of outcome.
In the criminal courts, there must be proof “beyond a reasonable doubt.” But the burden of proof in the civil court is very different. Civil courts require a case to be proven by “a preponderance of the evidence.” This means that your victims’ rights attorney only needs to tip the scales ever so slightly in your favor.
How Long Do I Have to File a Civil Lawsuit?
The statute of limitations do place a cap on how long a victim has to file a lawsuit. The timeframe varies depending upon the nature of the crime and even whether the other party was found “guilty” in the criminal courts.
The New York statute of limitations can range from one year for crimes like assault and battery, while wrongful death lawsuits usually must be filed within two years. In the case of a civil suit for property damage or personal injury, you may have as long as three years. Lawsuits stemming from a sexual abuse case involving a child must typically be filed within five years.
If you’re filing suit against someone who was convicted of a crime, you could have as long as seven to ten years from the date of the crime.
The timeframe for taking civil action does vary dramatically, so it’s best to act as soon as possible to avoid missing out on an opportunity for justice.
Our New York Civil Lawsuit Lawyers Can Represent Your Case as a Crime Victim
As the victim of a crime, you have rights, including the right to seek out compensation for your losses, including lost wages and medical bills. Rebuilding your life after a crime can be extremely difficult. But at The Law Offices of Michael S. Lamonsoff, PLLC, our goal is to make that process a bit easier as we work to recover the compensation you deserve.
Remember, the law does limit the amount of time you have to file a civil suit, so it’s essential that you take action immediately to avoid missing out on your chance at justice. Our law firm also has a team of personal injury lawyers and wrongful death attorneys who can assist in cases of this nature as well.
Lawyers with The Law Offices of Michael S. Lamonsoff, PLLC are ready to discuss your case in a confidential, no-cost consultation. Our legal team is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so just call 877-MSL-4LAW.
What you need to know…
1 in 5 workplace fatalities occur in construction (the highest rate of all industries). There are roughly 150,000 construction site accident injuries each year according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. There are 4 types of injuries that are responsible for more than half of all construction accident injuries: