Will The Law Stop Me from Receiving Both Settlement and Restitution for My Personal Injuries?

What do you do when a drunk driver hits you on the highway? Many people get mad and want to make sure the guy pays for it dearly. To some, the most severe way they conjure up is filing a criminal case against them, and maybe that way, the perpetrator will be sorry. However, when it gets to the point where the court decides to make a ruling on what the offender owes you, you quickly realize that there are still significant gaps left in your recovery purse. You were certain you have a right to receive more for the damage caused, but you can’t. That’s when the question hits you, “Can I legally get restitution plus settlement on the side?”

What is Restitution?

Restitution is simply a financial remedy accorded to victims who suffer such loss due to a crime. The Colorado Revised Statute § 18-1.3-602(3)(a) defines it as follows, verbatim:

Any pecuniary loss suffered by a victim and includes but is not limited to all out-of-pocket expenses, interest, loss of use of money, anticipated future expenses, rewards paid by victims, money advanced by law enforcement agencies, money advanced by a governmental agency for a service animal, adjustment expenses, and other losses or injuries proximately caused by an offender’s conduct and that can be reasonably calculated and recompensed in money.

While this definition may seem exhaustive and secure regarding all forms of losses, several categories are not catered for by the law of restitution. These are pain and suffering, loss of prospective monetary gains, loss of life enjoyment, and punitive damages (Colorado Restitution and the Effect on a Colorado Civil Law Suit, n.d.). One would argue that restitution is geared towards remedy for legal disruptions while leaving out moral grounds of claim. This is not to say that the categories not addressed by restitution are trivial or may be overlooked. On the contrary, they invite a new branch of law, Civil Law.

Away from Criminal Court

Settlement is a mutual agreement between parties to a dispute that leads to its solution. Settlement, which is essentially a civil process, could be before or after civil court proceedings. The parties are represented by their respective lawyers to reach a common ground. The remedies available in this avenue of compensation are more far-reaching than restitution. “Moral claims,” so to speak, such as pain and suffering, are available to victims, and the amount for each claim may either be settled upon by the parties outside of court or fixed in court through civil procedures. In light of this, it is, therefore, possible for a victim to access both restitution and settlement.

Rationalizing: Why going for both is important

Restitution seeks to make whole a victim of personal injury or loss in a criminal case. The financial remedy attempts to reimburse a victim for the criminal expenses and no more than that. Without civil proceedings or settlement, and depending on the nature of the case, a victim may fail to access full remedy. The inverse is true. In certain cases, some parties to the dispute may not be criminally liable, hence necessitating a civil approach.

Colorado restitution cases are held separate from the main case of determination of guilt or innocence. Nevertheless, striking similarities exist, such as the calling of witnesses. The grounds contested include proximity (how closely related the defendant’s actions are to the plaintiff’s losses), the relevance of the damages, and so on. At times, the case proceedings may grow in complexity and demand the involvement of financial experts for quantitative analysis.

We Are Here to Help

Loss, damage, and injury are stripes of fate that no one wishes to wear, but nearly everyone contends with once in a while. In such situations, you want to know that you are in the best company possible and that your interests will be well addressed. We at Combs and Brown offer you nothing short of the best advice and representation for your restitution and settlement cases, Find us at 100 Park Avenue, Suite 202, Steamboat Springs, Colorado (Combs and Brown, n.d.). You can also call our attorney on 970-871-7400.

Works Cited

Colorado Restitution and the Effect on a Colorado Civil Law Suit. (n.d.). Retrieved from Kalamaya: https://kalamaya.law/colorado-restitution-and-colorado-civil-lawsuit/

Combs and Brown. (n.d.). Retrieved from Steamboat Springs Criminal Defense Attorneys BOLDLY FIGHTING FOR JUSTICE: steamboatdefense.com