Victims of Violent Crime
Crime victims can take action against those who allowed a perpetrator to commit a violent crime by filing a civil lawsuit, whether or not the prosecutor goes forward with the criminal case. In a criminal lawsuit, the prosecutor brings the case against the criminal defendant and the victim is a witness, not a party. The prosecution controls the criminal case, not the victim. If the prosecutor decides not to pursue the criminal charges, s/he has the authority to do so. The criminal system may provide the victim with compensation through restitution or a state run victims compensation fund and put the perpetrator in prison. But there is another avenue for victims to assert their rights, a civil case by contacting attorney Kenneth Kolpan, a Boston violent crime lawyer.
There are many advantages to filing a civil lawsuit. First, the victim is a party not just a witness to the lawsuit. The victim controls the litigation to the extent that the case can only be settled with the victim’s consent under terms agreeable to the victim. A civil settlement may include financial compensation, a restraining order against the perpetrator, an apology from the perpetrator or the organization that failed to provide proper security, a change in defendant’s policies, staffing, security and other mutually agreed to terms. It is important that you understand your rights as a victim of a violent crime. We urge you to contact our office for a free consultation with Attorney Kolpan, a Boston violent crime attorney, who represents persons throughout Massachusetts and has represented clients in other states.
The burden of proving the case is much lower than the burden required in a criminal case. The criminal case mandates that the State prove the criminal case “beyond a reasonable doubt”, while the civil lawsuit entails proving the case by a preponderance of evidence. Preponderance of the evidence means that the elements of the case are shown to be more likely than not true, often referred to proving the case beyond 50%.
Victims ‘civil lawsuit may be brought against multiple defendants and other persons or organizations who were in a position to have prevented the violent crime. The victim can also sue the criminal defendant seeking compensation and preventing the criminal defendant from profiting from the crime.
Civil lawsuits show that crime victims have many different options. For example, Attorney Kolpan has brought lawsuits on behalf of crime victims against landlords (both residential and commercial) for inadequate security, condominium associations for not providing safe communities and/or secure common areas, drinking establishments for failing to provide security protection to its patrons. Also, Attorney Kolpan has brought a lawsuit against a software manufacture alleging that its computer program failed to properly operate security doors in a prison resulting in a corrections officer sustaining a serious brain injury.
Civil lawsuits can provide compensation for crime victim to obtain important treatment services, remuneration for lost past and future income replacement and pay for medical expenses both in the past and the future.
Because of a civil lawsuit, the defendant organization may change or establish its security, employment and monitoring policies to deter future crimes and, hopefully prevent others from becoming victims of violent crimes.
Some crime victims’ lawsuits have received well deserved publicity exposing an organization’s failures, while giving support to other crime victims to come forward. Attorney Kolpan, a violent crime lawyer in Boston has recently filed suit against Northeastern University on behalf of a student who was raped by another student. The filing received press coverage by the Boston Globe, WBUR, NPR, The Huntington News resulting in numerous phone calls to our office in support of our client and seeking further information.
Though crime victim’s lawsuits can be costly, the client does not pay any expenses or fees until and unless the case is resolved. The client signs a contingency fee agreement where the attorney receives a percentage of the gross settlement when settled. There is no fee if the case does not settle.
There is no charge for a consultation with Attorney Kolpan, a violent crime attorney in Boston, to learn your rights and be referred to appropriate resources. Call us at 617.426.2558 for a free consultation.