If you suffered injuries or other losses in a crime in Florida, you may be able to recover financial compensation in a civil lawsuit. You may be dealing with unforeseen medical bills, lost wages, missing or damaged property, and more after experiencing a crime. Filing a civil lawsuit against the perpetrator could yield compensation regardless of whether they are charged or convicted of the crime. A Florida crime victims lawyer with Chiappetta Trial Lawyers can represent your interests in settlement negotiations and at trial to help you recover your losses in a civil lawsuit.
- Victims of crimes in Florida can recoup some of their personal and financial losses by filing a personal injury lawsuit against the perpetrator. Your ability to file a civil claim for damages does not depend on whether the perpetrator is charged and convicted of the alleged crime.
- Florida law only allows certain parties to file personal injury claims for damages resulting from a crime.
- If the perpetrator in your case is convicted of the crime in question, you will not be able to recover compensation for any damages which are covered by restitution. That being said, you may be able to recover other costs in a Florida crime victims lawsuit.
- Our leading attorney handles crime victim cases involving, sexual crimes, battery, school and nightclub shootings, drunk driver car accidents, and more. Get in touch with a Florida attorney for help with recovering compensation after a crime.
Personal Injury Lawsuits for Florida Crime Victims
Many people believe that police action and the criminal justice system are the only legal recourse available after being the victim of a crime. However, Florida law allows for crime victims to sue for damages in civil court and recover compensation for their losses. In fact, a civil lawsuit may be a more helpful course of action when it comes to rebuilding your own life, while you wait for the outcome from the criminal justice system.
Who Can Recover Compensation after a Violent Crime?
Florida law allows the following parties to pursue civil compensation after a violent crime:
- The victim or intended victims of the crime;
- An intervenor (anyone who tried to stop the crime and was injured as a result);
- A surviving spouse of a homicide victim;
- Surviving children of a homicide victim; and
- Anyone who was dependent on the victim for financial support.
If you fall into any of these categories, speak with a crime victims lawyer in Florida as soon as possible to preserve your right to pursue compensation.
Are Damages the Same as Restitution?
Under Florida law, convicted criminals can be ordered to pay restitution as a component of their sentencing. Restitution is not the same as damages awarded in a civil lawsuit. It does not include the same kinds of calculations and is a separate payment made through the criminal justice system.
Florida crime victims may be able to recover more money by filing a civil lawsuit than they would by awaiting restitution. For instance, payments for emotional distress as well as pain and suffering are considered in a civil lawsuit but not in restitution, which only covers clear-cut, out-of-pocket costs such as medical bills, prescription costs, and insurance co-pays and deductibles.
Florida crime victims cannot be paid twice through restitution and civil damages. For instance, if you receive restitution for your medical bills, these same medical bills could not also be recovered in a civil settlement. However, additional costs such as pain and suffering, loss of consortium, loss of enjoyment, and even punitive damages may be assessed through a civil case. Additionally, offenders may be ordered to pay both restitution as well as civil damages, increasing the total recovery for the victims of their crimes.
Importantly, you may pursue a civil lawsuit for compensation after a crime regardless of whether charges are pressed on the perpetrator and regardless of whether they are convicted of the alleged crime.
This puts the power back in the hands of Florida crime victims.
Florida Lawyers Helping Victims of Sexual Crimes
An important difference between a civil and criminal case for sexual assault is that a civil case is brought by the victim, whereas the state decides whether or not to press charges against the offender in a criminal case. The burden of proof is higher in a criminal case than in a civil case in Florida. Where the state must prove an offender guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, a civil plaintiff must only prove through a preponderance of evidence that they were directly harmed by the offender’s actions and suffered compensable losses as a result. This makes filing a civil case against a sexual assault offender with the help of a Florida crime victims attorney a promising path forward for many survivors.
Florida Crime Victim Claims Involving Battery
Assault and battery can leave a Florida crime victim with trauma as well as medical bills, costs associated with rehabilitation and relocation, and more. If you were injured in a battery crime, the Florida civil statute of limitations gives you only two years to file a personal injury lawsuit to recover financially from the event.
It is important to note that the longer you wait, the more difficult it becomes to link your injuries, bills, and recovery costs directly to the crime.
For this reason, it is important to speak to an experienced Florida crime victims lawyer as soon as you can after the event.
Helping Florida Crime Victims of School Shootings & Bar and Nightclub Shootings
There have been many shootings in the United States in recent years. If you or a loved one were injured by gun violence in Florida, a civil lawsuit can help you account for the unexpected costs and losses you may be facing that criminal jurisdiction cannot cover. Contact a Florida crime victims representative with the law office of Chiappetta Trial Lawyers for help.
Florida Crime Victims of Drunk Driver Car Accidents
After a crash involving a drunk driver, you may be able to recover more than what the criminal courts and your insurance will pay by filing a personal injury lawsuit with the help of a crime victims attorney in Florida. For help with pursuing compensation for your medical bills, missed wages, property damage, and more after being injured in a drunk driving crash, contact Chiappetta Trial Lawyers today.
Florida Crime Victim Claims Involving Negligent Security
A civil lawsuit for negligent security can hold more parties accountable than just the offender. For instance, if you or a loved one suffered injuries in a violent crime in a dark parking lot, you may be able to bring a case against the property owner who failed to make the premises safe with adequate lighting or security cameras, for example.
Proving negligent security requires you to answer the following questions:
- Were you injured by a third party on the defendant’s property?
- Was the crime foreseeable given crime rates in the location of the defendant’s property?
- Did the owner of the property act with reasonable care to prevent the foreseeable crime?
If you have been held up in a convenience store, hurt at a concert or sporting event, or otherwise harmed in an unsecured location, you may be able to bring a case under the State’s negligent security law. Ask our Florida crime victims lawyer about your rights and options.
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Helping Victims of Nursing Home Abuse Crimes in Florida
There are 691 licensed nursing homes in the State of Florida, accounting for over 71,000 residents. When you entrust a parent or loved one to a nursing home, you expect the highest standard of care. When you discover that an elder has been subjected to abuse by the people you trusted with their care and safety, it can be devastating. Our families and elders deserve the maximum amount of compensation possible. If you suspect that your loved one was harmed by nursing home staff, reach out to our Florida crime victims attorney for answers.
Exploitation of Elderly and Disabled Floridians
One fourth of Americans aged 65 or older live in three states: California, Florida, and Texas. Florida is second only to the State of Maine when it comes to elderly residents per capita. Because of the high rate of older Americans, Florida is unfortunately a hotspot for crimes, abuse, and exploitation involving the elderly. If your elderly or disabled loved one has been affected by exploitation in Florida, a civil crime victims case may be the best path toward making things right.
Speak to a Florida Crime Victim Attorney Today
The skilled Florida crime victims lawyer at Chiappetta Trial Lawyers can help build your civil case after a crime. We believe strongly that Florida crime victims should not have to pay for their own hospitalizations, trauma therapy bills, pain and suffering, and other losses. We believe that those who cause harm to our neighbors and fellow Floridians should pay the fullest extent possible in damages to those they have victimized.
Our experienced attorney has helped Florida crime victims recover thousands in compensation and build their lives back up. Speak with our renowned Florida attorney for a free consultation, and see what you may be able to recover in your case.