If I am a victim of a crime, can I file a lawsuit?

by Jon Sinclair, Lawyer Referral Service Panelist

Generally speaking, a civil lawsuit should not be pursued while a criminal case is pending. Doing so makes it appear that the criminal case is based on the desire to get money from the defendant. It is best to wait until the criminal case is over and a sentence has been handed down. However, it is very rare for a civil suit to also be filed for most criminal matters simply because most criminals don’t have financial resources. Certain individuals such as victims of violent crimes, or the dependents of victims of violent crimes, may be eligible for compensation through the Ohio Victims Compensation Fund. Contact the Ohio Attorney General’s Office at 800-582-2877 or visit http://www.ohioattorneygeneral.gov/VictimsCompensation.aspx/?from=nav for more information.

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