Memphis ranked as the second most violent city in the country in 2011, with 1,006 violent crimes committed per 100,000 residents.

Indeed, it can be hard to read or watch the news in Memphis because of the violence we hear about from start to finish. We celebrate when a heartwarming story finally makes the headlines, and sometimes even when the weather comes on.

When a violent crime happens, Memphis’ criminal court and legal system attempt to find the perpetrator and sentence them appropriately. But did you know that the civil courts sometimes also have a role to play?

Civil courts handle lawsuits and non-criminal cases like personal injury claims and bankruptcy. And in civil courts, a victim can often sue over violent crime.

One example is wrongful death: If someone dies wrongly because of another person, their death can lead to both a criminal and civil case. Whether or not the perpetrator is found guilty in a criminal court, that person may be responsible for damages. The victim’s family can sue if their loved one died because of someone else’s reckless behavior, negligence, or intentional act.

Other victims of violent crime can sometimes sue for damages too. Victims of rape may be able to seek compensation, as can victims of attempted murder or assault. The compensation may help cover medical costs, lost income, counseling, and other damages incurred because of the crime.

Each situation is different, and it’s best to talk with an attorney quickly after the incident to find out if you have a case. In fact, many civil cases have a statute of limitations, which means you have to prepare a lawsuit within a certain time range or you’ll lose the opportunity completely.

If you have been the victim of a violent crime in Memphis, our personal injury lawyers can talk with you about your situation and let you know what options you have. We will treat you with respect and compassion since we know this can be an uncomfortable topic. Contact us today to talk with a lawyer for free.