We often receive visits or calls from people who have had a horrible accident happen to them or a family member, but they are unsure whether someone can - and should be - held liable for the resulting injury or death. These situations are often described as "freak accidents," but it is important to understand that rarely are there faultless accidents in the legal world.
When a fatal accident occurs, it is fairly common for two trials to take place - a criminal trial and a civil trial. The criminal trial determines whether the liable party should be subjected to criminal punishments, such as jail time. The civil trial determines whether the liable party should be forced to pay for the physical and emotional damage they have caused.