Albuquerque Crime Victim Lawyer

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Albuquerque Crime Victim Attorney

Criminal courts exist to punish those who commit a crime. While it might give the victims some sense of comfort knowing that the offender is going to face consequences for their actions, a criminal conviction does nothing to address the very real costs that the victims of crimes endure. By working with an Albuquerque crime victim lawyer, though, survivors may be able to make use of New Mexico’s civil laws to cover the costs of their injuries.

Depending upon the nature of the crime, there are things like medical bills, property damage or destruction, and the psychological impact of being the victim of a crime to address. Victims deserve restitution for these things and can, in some circumstances, find it. At Berenson & Associates, PC, we can help victims explore all possible options.

Who Bears Liability for a Crime?

The most obvious liable party is the criminal. It’s important to note that winning a civil case does not require the same burden of proof as a criminal case. This means that a victim may be able to win a civil case, even if the defendant isn’t found guilty in a criminal trial.

The criminal, though, isn’t the only one whom you can potentially hold liable. There may be third parties whose negligence has led to the crime. One of the primary examples of this is property owners.

There is a responsibility for property owners to make reasonable efforts to protect visitors from foreseeable crimes. If this isn’t done, it’s possible that you may be able to hold a property owner liable for the cost of your injuries.

Proving That Someone Is Responsible for You Becoming a Victim

Proving that someone is responsible for your injuries as a victim of the crime will have slightly differing requirements, depending on whom you are filing a claim against. If you are filing against the perpetrator of the crime, your crime victim lawyer must show how the criminal committed the crime and how that crime led to your injuries. When attempting to file against a third party who may be held responsible, the process can be a little more complex.

Duty to Care

We all have a duty to respect the rights of those around us. This is established in various laws, including the U.S. Constitution, along with the founding ideals of our nation.

To show that a third party is liable, your crime victim lawyer first needs to show that they had some kind of responsibility to take measures to protect against that kind of criminal event from occurring.

In many cases in Albuquerque, NM, this will include institutions where owners of a property are inviting visitors, whether they be customers or other kinds of visitors to their property.

Failure to Care

Committing a crime against someone is an obvious violation of one’s duty to care. As the burden of proof in a civil case is lower than that of a criminal case, it is easier to prove that the criminal violated their duty to care.

Once your Albuquerque crime victim lawyer has shown that a third party had a reasonable responsibility to take protective measures, they will need to demonstrate how they failed to take those measures. This could mean failing to provide sufficient light, surveillance, or other security for a location.

To prove this may require showing what the standard expectation for the security of this kind of location would look like, given the crime in the area. Remember that the measures taken to protect people must be sufficient to address foreseeable potential crimes.

In a civil claim, the measures taken must have been insufficient to meet that foreseeable risk. This means that a situation where a criminal is able to avoid and evade sufficient security is not likely to result in the third party being liable.

The Failure Allowed the Criminal to Act

Finally, the way in which the third party failed to take proper measures must be shown to have been directly connected with your being victimized by the criminal. This may mean demonstrating that, if the proper precautions were in place, the crime would not have likely occurred. If these things can be proven, then it’s possible that a third party may be held civilly liable for the costs that you incurred because of the crime.

The Compensation That a Crime Victim May Recover

The victim in these cases, if negligence is proven, is eligible to recover any costs that are associated with the crime. However, your crime victim lawyer must be able to show that the costs are a direct result of the crime. What you may recover in terms of the costs depends on the nature of what you suffered from the crime.

If you were physically harmed, then the costs of addressing those injuries, whether medical bills, physical therapy, or other concerns, can be recovered. The same is true for any damage or loss of property that you incurred as a result of the crime.

There are also psychological and emotional costs that can result from the crime. If you dealt with any pain and suffering, mental anguish, or other similar issues as a result of the crime, they may also be compensated.

It’s possible that punitive damages could be awarded in some cases. These are damages that are meant to punish the defendant. In particular, if you are suing the person who committed the criminal act, it’s very possible that these damages could be included. In the case of third parties, there would have to be something especially egregious to warrant punitive damage.

Contact Albuquerque Crime Victim Lawyer Today

Being the victim of a crime is incredibly unfair. It’s hard when you’ve done nothing wrong and found your life disrupted by the cruel and/or negligent actions of another. Being the victim of a crime comes with costs.

For physical crimes, there may be medical bills. Crimes against someone’s property can leave you with expenses to replace or repair the property that was damaged. With any kind of crime, victims are often met with psychological and emotional costs.

It’s only fair that victims in these situations get compensation for what they’ve had to suffer. Fortunately, through civil law, they are given a chance to seek restitution from those responsible. They can pursue a claim not just against the perpetrator but anyone who could have reasonably foreseen and had a responsibility to take measures that would have prevented the crime.

At Berenson & Associates, PC, we help the victims of these crimes seek what they are owed, whether that means settling a claim out of court or filing one in court. Contact us today to discuss your situation.


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