There are numerous claims under which civil actions may be brought. They include wrongful death, assault and battery, intentional or negligent infliction of emotional distress, and negligence. Some of these claims are described below.
In civil cases, the crime or wrongful act is refereed to as a tort. For most criminal offenses, there is a corresponding tor for which a crime victim may bring a civil suit. Some examples of torts include:
Negligence – the failure to use such care as a reasonably prudent person would use under similar circumstances, when such failure is the cause of the plaintiff’s injury. Examples include negligent security and negligent hiring.
Assault - putting the victim in fear of immediate injury while the perpetrator has the ability to inflict such injury.
Battery - intentional physical contact with a person without that person’s consent. Battery includes the crimes of sexual battery, rape, molestation, fondling, forcible sodomy, malicious wounding, and attempted murder.
Wrongful Death – a death caused by another person which occurs without justification or excuse, including murder, manslaughter, and vehicular homicide.
False Imprisonment – holding a victim against his or her will for any amount of time, no matter how brief. This often occurs in rape and kidnapping situations.
Intentional infliction of Emotional Distress – causing a victim emotional distress or anxiety through extreme and effensive conduct. Emotional distress is frequently seen in stalking cases.
Fraud – an intentional misrepresentation of facts made to deceive the victim, resulting in damages. This is often seen in white collar or economic crimes such as criminal fraud, telemarketing schemes or racketeering.
Conversion – the theft or destruction of personal property or money. This includes larceny, concealment, and embezzlement.
Common among all claims? Victim seeks compensation for harm caused by another.
Compensation - Civil actions can provide compensation for victims for the monetary damages they suffered, such as medical expenses and lost income. Civil actions can also compensate victims for the emotional damage they have suffered.
Justice and Accountability - Civil suits can hold offenders directly accountable to victims. These suits give victims their “day in court”, regardless of whether there was a criminal conviction or any prosecution at all.