I know you have watched a lot of Boston Legal and Matlock, but what you learned about criminal law may not work for personal injury cases. So grab your copy of the Constitution, we are going to look at some of the differences between criminal and civil law.
In a civil case, like a personal injury case, no one is going to jail. People who get hurt often think the guy who did them wrong will see prison time. Your personal injury case is only about money. You might be able to take his house but not his liberty. If he goes to jail, it is because the government brought charges, not you.
The prohibition against self-incrimination only works in a criminal trial. If arrested, you can remain silent. However in an injury case, you have to show up for depositions and, if called, testify in court. Yes, they can ask you things which might hurt your case. Yes, you have to answer truthfully. If not, the jail time we were talking about may not be for the guy who rear-ended you but rather for you.
And I have had clients who wanted to know about their right to a speedy trail. Well, that is true in a criminal case only. This rule is to prevent you from being locked up for years awaiting trial. Not only can civil cases take years, they can take decades. Though rare, it has been known to happen.
If you are hurt in a traffic accident, you can talk to us at the Law Firm of Eiland and Ritchie for free. We want to help you get back on your feet.
Also join us on NBC 15 LawCall here in Mobile every Sunday night at 10:30 right after the news. We will take your calls live.
Alabama personal injury lawyer