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How do I file injury charges against someone?

Tort law is a civil wrong committed against you due to the negligence of another person, called the tortfeasor. Although some crimes are torts, not all torts are crimes. For instance, it is possible to be injured by the negligent actions of another person but the negligence does not rise to the level of a criminal act.

So if you have been injured by someone's negligence and want to receive compensation for your injuries you can file a civil lawsuit even if the act was not considered criminal. Common tortuous acts include car accidents, defamation and slander, product liability injuries, and medical malpractice injuries.

Now, if someone intentionally or criminally injures you they may also be charged criminally for their actions. For instance, assault, assault and battery, kidnapping, and murder are all intentional, criminal actions. If you have been criminally injured you may file a civil suit against the perpetrator but you also may want to report the crime to the police and file criminal charges.

How do I file a criminal charge against someone?

Recently on our forum a user asked, "How do I file an injury charge against someone?" If you have been physically injured from the criminal or intentional actions of another person you have the right to file charges against your assailant.

1. Report the crime to the police

The first step after a criminal injury is to report the crime to the police. Charges are generally filed in the jurisdiction where the crime occurred. To file charges you should contact the police and file a criminal complaint. Get copies of all the paperwork filed with the police for your own records. Get the names and badge numbers of the officers who took your statement.

The police will gather all pertinent information and may conduct an investigation of the alleged crime. Remember, there is a statute of limitations for filing criminal charges. Do not wait too long.

2. Police issue a summons or arrest warrant

Assuming the police are able to gather enough information and evidence to suggest the crime has been committed and there is probable cause, the police will issue an arrest warrant for the defendant or summon the defendant to appear in court. All summons are served to the defendants; arrest warrants are given to the police who will then find the accused.

3. The defendant appears in court

After the summons or arrest of the defendant the defendant is required to appear in court. You may also be required to appear in court to testify about the criminal offense. Failure to appear on the date set by the court could result in your arrest for failure to obey a court order. It is recommended that you hire a criminal lawyer to help you with your criminal case.

Keep in mind the process to file a criminal complaint may vary by state. If the police do not have enough evidence to charge the defendant with a crime you may still be able to file a civil claim if you can prove the defendant owed you a duty of care, they breached their duty, their breach caused your injury, and you have suffered loss.