The road is sometimes a dangerous place in California. Accidents that happen on the roadways are often covered by insurance companies but sometimes these amounts might fall short of expectations. Other times, it could be that the case is more complicated.
An incident in San Bernardino is one example of this. According to KTLA, a hit-and-run driver seriously injured a woman. Events such as these are often more complicated, as the party allegedly responsible for the accident may never appear.
Furthermore, if and when law enforcement is able to identify a hit-and-run suspect, it is common for the state to pursue charges against that individual. Criminal charges resulting in convictions may prove to strengthen a related civil case. However, the complex process has the potential to delay an injured party’s receipt of necessary funds considerably.
If the worst should happen and someone should die as the result of an accident, it would often be up to the deceased person’s heirs to pursue civil charges. According to FindLaw, the standard of proof is less exacting for wrongful death decisions than it is for related criminal cases. A person may also have to handle legal issues the case of a loved one sustaining serious brain injuries. However, if the injured party were still alive, there could be some legal prerequisites to bringing a case on his or her behalf.
One of the more confusing differences between civil and criminal cases in California is the fact that two procedures based on the same event may have different verdicts. The FindLaw article explains this as follows: Wrongful death, and other civil charges, require only a preponderance of evidence to determine liability. In a case where a state’s attorney did not have enough evidence to secure a guilty verdict, a plaintiff in a civil case could still have a chance to retrieve monetary damages.