How Civil Laws Are Different From Criminal Laws...and What it Means in Your Personal Injury Claim

The Difference Between Criminal Law and Civil Law

Civil laws govern personal injury cases. But civil lawsuits differ from criminal cases in many ways. Knowing the difference between the two helps you file a successful legal claim. 

Your personal injury attorney will provide you with the resources you need to get compensated for your injuries, property damage, and other losses. 

The following article helps you understand the difference between criminal law and civil law, and what it means in your personal injury claim. 

Civil and Criminal Laws in Georgia

The primary goal of civil lawsuits is to seek amends or redress for some wrongdoing. Restitution for any property that has been stolen or lost is an example of the redress that civil litigation can provide. 

The plaintiffs may receive compensation to right the wrong that occurred due to some action or negligence of another party. Unlike criminal law, civil suits do not seek to punish the defendant. 

In addition to personal injuries, civil law deals with the loss or harm to a person. Defends are either found liable or not liable for the losses sustained by the plaintiff. 

The primary purpose of criminal laws is to punish the guilty party for the wrongdoing that was committed. It serves as a way to deter others from committing the same acts while protecting the public’s interests. 

In criminal cases, defendants are found guilty or not guilty, depending on the evidence provided and other factors. 

How Civil Law Cases are Processed 

Filing a civil suit is an attempt to obtain some compensation. A civil case arises out of any dispute between two people or organizations. Civil court judges typically decide if the defendant is liable for the damages you’ve suffered.

The plaintiffs in civil lawsuits must provide sufficient evidence demonstrating the defendant’s role in causing their injuries and other damages. 

Common examples of civil lawsuits include disputes related to divorce, property, child custody, and injuries. 

After a decision is made in a civil case, the plaintiff or defendant has the legal right to appeal that decision. 

Criminal Laws in Georgia Courts

Criminal cases require the unanimous decision of a jury to convict a defendant of a crime. If the jury is unable to decide on guilt, the defendant is acquitted of the crime. 

The plaintiffs must prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” the guilt of the defendant. But the burden of proof must also be considered, and the defendant is considered “innocent until proven guilty.” 

Punishment in criminal cases will vary. In many cases, defendants who are found guilty may be sentenced to imprisonment (custodial punishment). Defendants may also use community service and other “non-custodial” punishment.  

In some states, the death penalty may still be used to punish defendants convicted of murder and other severe criminal acts. 

After a decision has been made in a criminal case, the defendant (not the plaintiff) has the legal right to an appeal. 

Personal injuries are governed by civil law. Knowing the difference between civil and criminal court cases lets you choose the right strategy to get compensated for your injuries. 

Your attorney will help you gather and submit the evidence needed to hold another party liable for your injuries. Negligence and other factors must be demonstrated to get the redress you deserve. 

Through a civil lawsuit, you can protect your personal and financial wellbeing, recover from your injuries, and create a secure future for you and your family. 

Consult with an attorney, like Mark Thomas Law,  who understands the difference between criminal law and civil law related to your personal injury claim. Contact our office today at 404- 999 – 2358 for your free consultation.


Other Blog Posts

Related Posts


We're ready to start fighting for you. Give us a call or fill out this form and tell us about what happened.