The criminal justice system is depended upon to provide justice for the American people. Whatever the crime and whoever the criminal, the system is supposed to be fair and impartial, and is supposed to make sure that the guilty are punished and the innocent go free. But sometimes, relying only on the criminal justice system just does not work.
On September 12th, 2017, a Pennsylvania judge dismissed involuntary manslaughter charges against an Amtrak engineer responsible for the deaths of 8 people in a 2015 derailment. The judge decided that it was not the result of criminal negligence. Drawing a line where regular negligence ends and criminal negligence begins can be extremely difficult.
Thankfully, the criminal justice system is not the only method of holding a negligent party accountable for their actions. Civil courts also exist and are often the only means a person has to get the justice they deserve if they are injured in an accident. A person who is the victim in an accident has limited recourse to force the criminal justice system to act, but by using the power of the civil lawsuit they can still hold the negligent to account.
We will never know the full extent of evidence in the Amtrak case because the judge dismissed it before trial. But in a civil case, your lawyer can seek the information you need, not only make your case but bring you a sense of closure. Dealing with the emotional and physical fallout of your injuries is difficult, but knowing the person responsible has been forced to acknowledge their negligence can help.
If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident, be aware that the criminal justice system is outside of your control. Consider your options and speak with an experienced attorney regarding filing a civil suit and obtain the justice and compensation you deserve.