Many victims of rape, assault and other violent crimes in the greater Atlanta area suffer more than physical trauma. They also experience emotional trauma that manifests itself in ongoing fear, depression, and anxiety. These victims may face expensive medical treatment and therapy. Many cannot return to work due to the harm which has been inflicted upon them.
With nearly 40 years of collective legal experience, the crime victim attorneys of Adamson & Cleveland, LLC, know how to navigate the complex civil and criminal justice systems and how to seek just compensation for victims. Over the years, our attorneys have collected more than $150 million for our clients. We can help you today if you are a crime victim or if you lost a loved one due to the criminal acts of another person.
Each client we work with has a different story to tell ─ different circumstances, different challenges, and different needs. When you choose to work with the team at Adamson & Cleveland, LLC, our crime victim litigation lawyers guarantee that you will never be treated like just another case number. Everyone on our staff shows genuine concern for our clients, and we always go above and beyond to help. Contact us today to learn more.
What Is the Difference Between a Criminal and Civil Case?
Georgia has two types of justice systems. The criminal justice system punishes people for the crimes which they commit. The government prosecutes the case, and the punishment can include fines, incarceration and the loss of other rights and privileges. The civil justice system, on the other hand, helps people to resolves disputes and to seek redress for the harm done to them. The person who files a civil lawsuit is the one who prosecutes the case, not the government. A personal injury claim is a type of civil justice system case.
When people get hurt due to crime and incur financial losses like medical bills or lost wages from work, they often mistakenly believe there is nothing they can do to seek compensation for those losses. They may assume that, because the government is handling the criminal case, that’s the end of the matter. But in Georgia, as in many other states, victims may also seek justice through the civil system.
For decades, the attorneys of Adamson & Cleveland, LLC, have been helping crime victims in Gwinnett County and throughout the greater Atlanta area to pursue compensation for their injuries and losses. If you or a loved one suffered harm due to another person’s criminal acts, we can help you to explore all options available to you through the civil justice system.
What Can You Do If You Are a Crime Victim in Georgia?
If you suffer an injury due to a crime, your first step should be to cooperate with prosecutors so that the offender is prosecuted, punished and held accountable in our criminal justice system. The next step is to make sure that you are seeking medical treatment for any injuries. You will also want to document each and every aspect of your case. Here are some additional things you can do that will help you to pursue full and fair compensation:
- Take photos of any damaged property or physical injuries.
- Keep medical records and billing statements.
- Keep copies of all police and incident reports or witness statements.
- Get names of witnesses and their contact information.
- Make sure you follow your treating doctor’s recommendations.
- Keep receipts for all out-of-pocket expenses you incur.
- Contact a crime victim compensation attorney immediately.
A criminal conviction can play an important role in your civil case. However, even if the defendant is not convicted, you may still be able to recover compensation in a civil claim. The criminal and civil cases may naturally overlap. However, they remain separate and distinct.
What Types of Damages Can Georgia Crime Victims Recover?
If you suffer physical, emotional or economic losses due to a crime, you may be able to file a claim through the Georgia Crime Victims Compensation Program. The program is funded through fines and penalties that criminal offenders pay into the system. As a victim, you may be awarded funds up to:
- $15,000 for medical and dental expenses, including prescription medications and out-of-pocket co-pays and deductibles
- $10,000 in reimbursement for lost income or lost support due to being unable to work
- $3,000 in mental health services and treatment directly related to the crime
- $6,000 in funeral expenses where someone is killed due to a crime
- $1,500 for assistance with sanitizing and cleaning your home or property after a crime.
However, as you can see, this compensation is fairly limited and may fail to fully cover all of the losses which a person suffers due to a crime. In those cases, it may be necessary to file a civil lawsuit which seeks damages such as:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Lost income and reduced future earning ability
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Punitive damages
- Wrongful death damages (if your loved one died as the result of a crime).
Sometimes, the person who committed the crime is not the only one who should be held accountable. For instance, the defendant’s employer may be liable if the defendant committed the crime while acting within the course and scope of his or her employment, or the employer may be liable for negligently hiring, training or supervising the defendant. If the crime occurred due to negligent security, the property owner may be held responsible. In drunk driving accidents, the bar, store or restaurant which served a visibly intoxicated or underage driver could potentially be sued in a dram shop claim.
How Our Norcross Crime Victim Lawyers Can Help You?
When you work with Adamson & Cleveland, LLC, we will explore all sources of compensation available to you if you have suffered harm due to the criminal acts of another. Our highly dedicated legal team will immediately get to work on gathering evidence, obtaining your medical records and helping you to put together a clear and comprehensive package in order to request full and fair compensation for your injuries and losses. We know that no amount of compensation can fully make up for the harm which you and your loved ones have suffered. However, it can help you to move forward with a sense of justice, and it can give you the financial security that you need as you move forward.
To learn more, contact us today for a free consultation or you can visit our office at 4295 International Blvd. Suite D Norcross, GA 30093. You will quickly see that we are a compassionate legal team that focuses on personalized representation and smart legal strategies.
Alan is a Gwinnett County native who proudly serves his community and provides skilled representation to injury victims and their families as a founding partner of the personal injury law firm of Adamson & Cleveland, LLC. Alan earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Georgia and went on to graduate, summa cum laude, from Atlanta's John Marshall Law School. He is also a graduate of Gerry Spence’s renowned Trial Lawyers College (TLC) in Wyoming. In his free time, Alan frequently speaks at continuing legal education seminars. He also volunteers as a youth baseball coach and assists his local high school's moot court competition team.