Some serious or fatal accidents involve both criminal charges and civil lawsuits. This is because things like leaving the scene of an accident, drinking recklessly, or driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs are all crimes, in addition to the procedures that people must follow with the insurance and the police to report an accident. The person who was injured (or their family members in deadly accidents) will usually also want to file a civil lawsuit to be paid for things like medical expenses and property damage, as criminal charges may not involve restitution.
In the American judicial system, it is fairly common for the same incident to result in disputes in both the civil and criminal courts.

A man from Boca Raton was found and arrested about a week after he left the scene of a deadly hit and run accident that occurred just south of Boca Raton in Deerfield Beach.
Hit and run accident kills a pedestrian
The victim was a 60 year old male pedestrian who was walking across North Federal Highway at the intersection of Northeast Eller Street. The suspect’s Chevy Silverado pickup truck was proceeding northbound on Federal Highway when it struck the pedestrian. Witnesses say that after the collision, the truck slowed down briefly, then quickly turned westbound away from the accident. The victim was found by Broward County Fire Rescue and transported to a local hospital, where he died the next day from his injuries. The police believed the driver would try to repair the damage to the truck quickly and they released pictures of the truck and the man.
The day the information was released, an anonymous tip led to the suspect’s arrest. He was charged with failing to stop or remain at an accident involving death, and tampering with evidence.
The suspect was found to be a 68 year old white male.
Criminal versus civil cases
Despite the fact that the police are going to charge the suspect with two different crimes related to the accident and his flight from the area, the surviving family members can still also sue him on the victim’s behalf. They can proceed on theories of negligence or wrongful death to receive compensation for the defendant’s dangerous driving. The damages available will be based on things like funeral expenses, hospitalization costs and medical bills, the future wages the man would have earned if he had worked for several more years, and even non-economic amounts related to the emotional and psychological pain and suffering of the family.
The use of criminal evidence in the civil case
Because civil cases have a lower burden of proof and criminal charges and convictions can strongly suggest negligence, it is usually easier for a plaintiff to prevail in a civil lawsuit than the state’s burden of proving charges beyond all reasonable doubt. The fact that someone is being prosecuted will make it very helpful for a victim to bring the civil lawsuit, because some of the same evidence and testimony may be relevant to both cases. For these reasons, defendant’s attorneys settle many civil cases to avoid the possibility of a jury coming back with a large damage award.
Talk to an experienced accident attorney in Boca Raton
If you are interested in receiving help after an accident, lawyers who specialize in accidents are available. The Law Offices of Jeffrey A. Rosenberg are conveniently located on North Federal Highway in Boca Raton Florida.