What is the difference between a civil case and a criminal case?

When you file an auto accident case, it will be heard in civil court. There are two main branches of courts: civil courts and criminal courts.

Criminal Court

The criminal court handles matters of criminal cases, where an individual has violated the law and will be prosecuted by the state. The potential penalties include incarceration, fines, and probation for crimes against the public.

Civil Court

In civil court, the primary remedy is monetary. These courts handle all non-criminal disputes, such as contract disputes, property, divorce, and personal injury. In a car accident case, the victim is seeking monetary compensation from the insurance company for the negligent driver. This claim will be filed in civil court, but the attorney will usually attempt to settle the case outside of court.

In some car accident cases, the person responsible will have committed a criminal act that causes the accident. Things like reckless driving, operating without a license, or driving while intoxicated will have a criminal case that is separate from your car accident claim. These two cases will be separate; however, criminal conduct will often be a strong indicator of negligence in your civil claim.

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Matt's success as an insurance defense lawyer actually prompted him to change his career focus and go to work representing injured people.

I can't stand bullies. I discovered, when I did insurance defense work, that insurance companies were in a position to take advantage of people whose lives had been turned upside down because of the wrongful conduct of insured policy holders. While I had success in the courtroom on behalf of our insurance company clients, it left me convinced I was working for the wrong side. After winning a case I should not have won, I quit my job and went to work representing injured people. I vowed that I would never again represent an insurance company.

Matt continues:

People come to us having suffered tragic, horrendous harms and losses. I frequently see people whose entire lives, and the lives of their families, have been devastated by someone else's wrongful conduct. These wrongdoers are almost always represented by insurance companies. That's where we come in. We're able to level the playing field and to make sure that no one we represent is going to get pushed around or exploited by an insurance company.

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