Woman Assaulted at Cracker Barrel Restaurant Considers Civil Lawsuit


November 04, 2010

The victim in a beating at the Cracker Barrel Restaurant is considering bringing a personal injury lawsuit after her attacker accepted a plea bargain in a Clayton County, Georgia court that included a sentence of only six months in jail. The beating victim's attacker had been facing up to 44 years in state prison. Much of the attack in which the man punched and kicked the victim was caught on surveillance video.

The victim of the violent attack feels that a six month sentence is not sufficient and is now considering filing a civil lawsuit against her attacker. A personal injury lawsuit would have the advantages of a lower burden of proof and availability of punitive damages to punish the attacker for his intentional assault. At Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, we have been representing individuals throughout Georgia who suffer injuries as a result of a violent attack by a third party for over 25 years.

A person who is the victim of a criminal assault like the woman attacked at the Cracker Barrel may bring a personal injury lawsuit for one's injuries in addition to the punishment from the criminal court. In addition, where a crime victim does not feel that the criminal case resulted in a fair result because of an acquittal or inadequate sentence, a personal injury lawsuit gives a crime victim another chance at obtaining a just result. The victim of a violent crime like an assault may receive compensation for medical and rehabilitative expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, loss of earning capacity and even punitive damages. A case involving an intentional assault will often result in punitive damages, and this element of damage can be the largest component of the injury victim's award. Punitive damages may be awarded for extremely egregious behavior and is designed to discourage and punish such activity. Sometimes a large punitive damage award is more effective in punishing and deterring particularly onerous behavior than a criminal case.

A personal injury lawsuit resulting from a criminal attack also has the benefit of lower burdens of proof. While a criminal case requires proving the case beyond a reasonable doubt, a Georgia personal injury lawsuit requires only a preponderance of the evidence in most cases. This essentially means the difference between proving a case by simply tipping the scales very slightly as opposed to proving a case to a near certainty. Because criminal cases require such a high burden of proof, the cases often settle for sentences that are less than satisfying to a crime victim. A civil lawsuit may provide additional financial penalties and help reach a just outcome for the victim of a violent assault. A judge or jury may award punitive damages based on an intermediate burden of proof – clear and convincing evidence. While this requires more than nudging the scale just slightly to the plaintiff's favor, it does not require the same level of proof as a criminal court.

A personal injury lawsuit brought after the resolution of a criminal case is also easier to bring because liability will generally be established. Whether the criminal defendant is convicted at trial or pleads guilty, the facts surrounding criminal conduct will typically be established by the criminal case. This means that liability will not typically be in dispute and only the amount of appropriate damages will be at issue in the personal injury lawsuit. At Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, we know that victims of violent crimes can suffer extraordinary injuries and need significant medical and psychological care.

If you or someone you love suffers injuries resulting from a violent crime, call Montlick & Associates today to see how we can help. Our Georgia premises liability attorneys are available to assist clients throughout all of Georgia, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Dalton, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. Call us today for your free consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333), or visit us on the web at www.montlick.com. No matter where you are in Georgia, we are just a phone call away and we will even come to you.

Category: Personal Injury

Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.