There are always two parties involved in every case. In criminal cases, there is a plaintiff filing a lawsuit against a defendant. In civil cases, there’s the petitioner filing a civil suit against a respondent. Car accidents can both be a criminal and civil offense. The damage caused by the said accident appropriately calls for a civil case. However, it can escalate into a criminal offense if it involves a hit and run, driving under the influence, and reckless driving. In either case, whether you are the petitioner, plaintiff, respondent, or defendant you need to hire a car accident lawyer.
What can a car accident lawyer do for the plaintiff/petitioner?
If you are the one who is filing a case against another person, your lawyer can help you determine what particular criminal or civil lawsuit to file, or whether or not you will reserve the civil aspect of the crime for filing later on. Usually, when you file a criminal case, the civil aspect is automatically absorbed. Meaning to say, if you fail to prove the guilt of the other party beyond a reasonable doubt, you can no longer file a civil case based on the same causes of action.
However, if you reserve the civil aspect to be filed in a separate and later case, if you can’t prove the criminal guilt, you can still file an action for damages. The civil litigation has a lower degree of evidence required — a preponderance of evidence. Meaning, you may fail to put the accused to jail through the criminal case, but you still have the chance to let him pay for the damages through a conviction in a civil case.
Aside from these, your lawyer can also help you ensure that all elements of the crime exist in your case and that you have enough evidence to prove these elements. For example, you will be filing a lawsuit for reckless driving. The elements of reckless driving include willful driving, inherently dangerous driving speed, or a speed that’s dangerous to the public. Your lawyer will help you find pieces of damning evidence to establish each of these elements. Check it out at Scholle Law
What can a car accident lawyer do for the defendant/respondent?
Since the plaintiff/petitioner has the burden of proving all the elements of the case exist, your task will depend on the accusations contained in the affidavit complaint. In this case, your lawyer will be responsible for building a defense based on the allegations. In the majority of cases, the best personal injury attorney will first fight to prove the innocence of his client. However, in cases wherein the accused wants to submit a guilty plea, your lawyer has the role of finding mitigating circumstances to lower the penalty or sentence.
In certain crimes wherein the accused has been caught “in flagrante delicto,” the personal injury attorney must find justifying circumstances to clear his client of any criminal liability. The same thing goes with civil cases. The lawyer will be responsible for building a defense.
Aside from fighting the case by its merits, the lawyer is also responsible for making sure that the rules of court are followed. Meaning to say, he needs to make sure that services of summons have been properly executed, that his client was given an ample opportunity to meet his accuser and be also given a day in court to defend himself.
It does not matter if the car accident involves a minor misdemeanor or a major offense. A seasoned and reliable lawyer can help you build a case or prove your innocence. On top of it all, if you are looking for a medical malpractice lawyer, visit schollelaw.com for more details.