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Civil Process

Civil Lawsuits for Victims of Crime 

You may want to talk with an attorney about filing a civil suit against the offender.

The attorney can file a civil suit in court to attempt to return the money that you lost, or to request money for the pain and suffering you experienced due to the crime. The attorney may want to wait to file the civil suit until the criminal trial is over. However, a civil suit can be filed, even if the offender was found not guilty in the criminal trial, or even if the offender was not prosecuted for the crime.

You may also want to talk to an attorney about filing a civil suit against other people who may have been responsible for the crime that was committed against you. For example, there may not have been proper security at a hotel, apartment, child care center or shopping center that may have contributed to you being a victim of crime.

You, as the victim, will have choices in a civil suit, such as the decision to file a civil suit, accept a settlement offer, or decide to go to trial. A civil suit must be filed within a certain period of time. You will need to prepare yourself emotionally, as your attorney will ask you a lot of questions about the crime in order to prepare for this legal action.

If you would like additional information, please use the link to the Frequently Asked Questions from the Pennsylvania Bar Association