How Civil Litigation Can Help Rhode Island Victims of Crime
More than 24 million Americans are victimized by crime each year. Often Rhode Island Crime Victims are left with expenses for medical procedures, physical rehabilitation, counseling, and lost wages. Many Rhode Island crime victims and their families are unaware that there are two systems of justice in which to hold the offender accountable, the criminal justice system and the civil justice system.
The civil justice system does not attempt to determine an offender’s guilt or innocence. Rather, civil courts attempt to determine if an offender or a third-party is liable for the injuries sustained as a result of the crime. If defendants are found civilly liable, they may be ordered to pay monetary damages.
While money awarded in Rhode Island civil lawsuits can never fully compensate a victim for the trauma of victimization or the loss of a loves one, it can be a valuable resource to help crime victims rebuild their lives. In addition, the exposure to civil liability serves as motivation for landlords, businesses, and other proprietors to enact the security measures necessary to prevent future harm.
Victims can consider suing perpetrators or other responsible parties. Some examples of other parties who might share some responsibility for the crime include hotel owners who fail to provide security measures, shopping malls that fail to provide adequate security, parents who allow children access to firearms, and bar owners who serve alcohol to intoxicated persons.
Examples of crimes include:
- Sexual assaults
- Inadequate security
- Negligent hiring
- Drunk-driving crashes
- Dram shop violations
- School or campus violence
Attorney Mark Mandell is currently the vice- president of the National Center for the Victims of Crime and has been president of the National Crime Victim’s Bar Association.