Criminal law and civil law often involve very different types of cases. Criminal cases are often punishable by jail time and generally require a higher standard of proof, whereas civil cases frequently involve a judge deciding whether it’s more likely than not that something occurred in a certain way. When cases involving automobile accidents are first tried in criminal court, however, this often indicates that there is enough evidence that grounds for a civil personal injury suit would exist as well.
In a recent multi-vehicle accident in Ohio, criminal charges are expected to be forthcoming. Multiple people were taken to a hospital on a recent Sunday afternoon following an accident involving a total of five vehicles. According to Ohio State Patrol, the incident started when a 30-year-old male driver failed to stop his vehicle at a red light.
The car struck another vehicle, which was then forced backwards into two more vehicles behind it. Further damage to surrounding cars was caused by flying debris. The driver of the car that looks to have caused the accident was taken for treatment of his injuries, which were apparently not life-threatening.
Another driver and two passengers of other vehicles were also taken to a nearby hospital for treatment of their injuries. Regardless of whether Ohio State Police file criminal charges against the driver who ran the red light, the other injured driver and passengers have the legal right to seek a civil suit against that driver. A lawyer with experience in cases involving automobile accidents and personal injury would be able to offer guidance and representation in regards to seeking monetary compensation for any medical bills incurred as a result of the accident, as well as other issues like lost wages and pain and suffering.
Source: wfmj.com, “Charges expected in Niles multi-vehicle crash“, May 8, 2017