Know Your Rights
Our free report, Civil Justice for Victims of Crime in North Carolina, published by the National Center for Victims of Crime, will help you understand your rights as the victim of crime. Contact us and we will send it to you today. In reading it you will learn what information the district attorney must share with you, and how much you have to be included in the decision making in criminal court. You will also learn the rights you have to bring a civil case against the perpetrator of the crime.
Civil Court Victims of Crime Cases
You may have sought justice in the criminal courts. However, there may be remedies available to you in the civil courts also. In the criminal justice process, juries and judges decide whether a defendant is guilty or innocent, and the courts decide how much an offender should be punished. Criminal cases are generally controlled by prosecutors. In the civil justice system, the cases are brought by victims of crime. Often, the civil court system provides victims and their families a sense of justice that criminal courts are unable to provide.
Damages You May Be Awarded
In civil court, a judge can order the perpetrator of a crime to pay for lost income and medical expenses, but also for non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, damage to family relationships, and psychological injuries. Victims of violent crimes may also bring legal claims in civil court against a company or institution that negligently allowed a crime to occur. Finally, a civil court can, when appropriate, award punitive damages as a form of punishment and to deter other potential defendants from similar conduct.