Violent crime can have a number of serious legal implications for those involved. For one thing, there are the obvious criminal charges that await the perpetrator. If a person or group of people can be found guilty of a violent crime, they will likely face time behind bars. This isn't the end, though.
That's because the victim still has a right to file civil charges against his or her attacker. Civil charges are intended to remunerate victims for the physical, emotional and financial damages that the perpetrator caused. Civil charges are treated as a separate entity from criminal charges, and have a lower threshold for determining liability. This means even if a person is found innocent of criminal charges he or she can still be found guilty on civil charges.
These are the issues faced by a man who was recently taken into custody after a fight broke out in a Lancaster, California, bar. The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department arrested the man after he was involved in a bar fight that left another man with a catastrophic brain injury. The victim was taken to a hospital, but doctors were unable to save the man's life.
In cases such as this one, the family of the deceased has a right to file civil charges against the attacker or attackers. But in cases of bar-related violence, the liability may not stop there.
That's because bar owners are, in some ways, responsible for the behavior of their patrons. If a bar over-serves its patrons or otherwise creates a situation that could reasonably be expected to lead to violence, the establishment may share some of the blame for the ensuing injuries. Filing a lawsuit against a bar owner can help to ensure that the dangerous conditions that led to the violence are never recreated.
KCAL-TV, "Man Dies Of Head Injury Following Assault At Lancaster Bar" No Author Given, Sep. 29, 2013