The civil justice system, including medical malpractice cases, plays an important role in our society’s need for justice and balance of interests. Its role is different than the criminal court system, but both systems are helped by the presence of the other.

What’s the Difference between Civil and Criminal Court Systems?

In everyday life we all learned the basic concepts embodied in the civil and criminal court systems when we were growing up: If you hurt someone by being careless, you should try to make it up to them. If your parents thought you did the wrong thing, they might punish you.

You pay the neighbor to fix the window you broke with your carelessly thrown baseball. Civil lawsuits, like those for malpractice, seek the same kind of outcome. Civil courts can help an injured person to force someone who does not accept responsibility for their negligence to compensate the person they hurt.

Criminal courts, on the other hand, are all about punishing the wrongdoer, in order to deter him from doing it again and to teach him a lesson. Growing up, this might mean being grounded by your parents – or worse.

Alternatives to Civil Malpractice Lawsuits

Doctors who complain about their malpractice insurance premiums or protest their patients’ ability to sue them for medical malpractice might want to consider the alternative. In February 2017, a newspaper reported the story of a Texas neurosurgeon being sentenced to life in prison for maiming his victims.

Without civil medical malpractice cases providing a means to pursue a remedy, victims injured by their doctors would, without a doubt, be spending more time trying to get the attention of prosecutors in order to get justice through the criminal courts. Then, instead of having to give away some of their “allowance” to the person they hurt to make it up to them, more negligent doctors might find themselves getting “sent to a time out” by the criminal courts as punishment.

If you are looking for a civil litigation attorney who practices in Virginia, Maryland or Washington, DC give us a call today to find out if you have a valid malpractice or personal injury claim.

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