Is a Civil Case for Personal Injuries or Wrongful Death Affected by the Filing of Criminal Charges? (Teen Charged in Fatal School Bus Shooting)


In Florida and other States, an incident that causes injury or death to a child due to the negligence or fault of others can result in the filing of a civil claim or case as well as a criminal case. Often times as a Florida Child Injury Lawyer, I am asked the following questions:

Is a Civil Case for Personal Injuries or Wrongful Death Affected by the Filing of Criminal Charges?

The answer to this question is not so simple. However, from a very basic standpoint, the civil case or claim is not controlled by the filing of a criminal case or the filing of criminal charges against a person regarding the incident that caused the personal injuries or death to the child. It should be noted that civil cases and criminal cases are handled by different procedures, laws, burdens of proof, and attorneys. Furthermore, the final disposition of the civil case is not controlled by the final disposition of the criminal case and visa versa.

In Homestead, Florida, Miami Dade County Police have charged a 15 year old boy and have charged him with the shooting of Lourdes Guzman. Tragically, Lourdes died as a result of the shooting. Her death certainly had a big impact on her family, friends, classmates, and community. You can read more about this story at Teen Charged in Homestead Florida Shooting on School Bus.

The book titled – The ABCs of Child Injury – Legal Rights of the Injured Child – What Every Parent Should Know – has chapters on School Injuries, Day Care Center Injuries, Automobile Accidents, and other topics. You can get this book for free at The ABCs of Child Injury.

Another helpful resource for parents and other concerned relatives is the book – When a Parent’s World Goes from Full to Empty – The Wrongful Death of a Child – What You Should Know About The Florida Wrongful Death Act. You can get his book for free at From Full to Empty.

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