Crime? Tort? Lawsuit? None of the Above?

Posted on January 10, 2015

Crime? Tort? Lawsuit? None of the Above?

Why You Need to Understand the Differences between Crimes, Torts, and Lawsuits and How They Play a Role in Your Personal Injury Case

It isn’t unusual for people who have little or no legal background to contact an attorney after they become injured or cause someone else to suffer an injury. These people tend to have a lot of questions. For example, they often wonder if they can be sent to jail for what they did. Others who have suffered an injury because of someone else’s actions want to know if they can press criminal charges or file a lawsuit.

While it’s easy to confuse the issues of criminal actions and lawsuits, they are really two very separate issues. If you are involved in a personal injury case of any kind, you need to be clear about the differences, and how they might affect you.

Crimes

When we talk about crimes, what we are talking about is actions that a government has specifically determined to be criminal. In order to commit a crime you have to act in a way that violates the terms of a criminal law. In addition to identifying individual crimes, these criminal laws also determine what punishments are appropriate for people who violate them.

Torts

Torts are lawsuits that result when one person causes someone else an injury for which the law allows a remedy. A tort is not necessarily a crime, though some torts can arise from situations that also involve criminal acts. If you want to sue someone because you have suffered a harm, you are filing a tort lawsuit against that person or organization.

Filing Lawsuits and Filing Charges

It can be much easier to understand the difference between a crime and a tort by understanding your options if you ever suffer an injury.

If you want to sue someone because you have been injured, you can file a lawsuit. You do not need to ask anyone’s permission to do this. You simply have to file your lawsuit in accordance with the relevant laws.

On the other hand, if you want to charge someone with a crime, you do not have the legal authority to do this. Only local, state, or federal prosecutors can file criminal charges. You can help prosecutors and law enforcement determine if criminal charges are appropriate by contacting them, making a statement, filing a complaint, or taking some other type of similar action, but you do not have the ability to charge someone with a crime.

In other words, even if you suffer an injury because of someone else’s intentional actions, only prosecutors can file criminal charges. You can, however, sue the person who harmed you by filing a tort lawsuit.

Legal Advice

Of course, determining if you should file a lawsuit, whether you need worry about being sued, or if you might be charged with the crime often requires the advice and guidance of an experienced lawyer. If you have a legal question or need advice, you need to contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.


Tags: , , , , , , , ,

  • Do you have a case? Get connected to a local personal injury attorney today for a FREE consultation. Click the link below or call 1-866-973-3646

    Or explore your specific case type further:

  • About the Injury HelpLine®

    For nearly 30 years the Injury HelpLine® has been helping people nationwide to connect to a local personal injury lawyer quickly and free of charge. Whether you have questions about a potential case or need immediate legal representation, our service was created to help people like you to connect to a local lawyer for FREE to assist you with your legal needs.

    With many personal injury claims, time is a critical factor. It is important to talk to a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible about your potential case, so call the Injury HelpLine® today. The Injury HelpLine® has helped over 2 million people, like you, to connect to a local personal injury attorney.
  • Recent Posts

  • Categories

  • Archives

  • Tags

  •