While most in Bowling Green likely understand the difference between criminal and civil law, they may not comprehend how both concepts work together in cases where they intersect. A person might be held help criminally culpable for their actions if said actions violate the law. In such a case, they would face criminal penalties mandated by the state. Yet if such actions also impacted others, those affected might also seek compensation or damages through a civil lawsuit.
A recent auto-pedestrian accident that occurred following a University of Kentucky football game illustrates how criminal and civil case may intersect. A UK student allegedly struck a small boy standing on the side of the street. The boy later died from his injuries. Upon his arrest, the student registered a 0.051 BAC measurement. While technically lower than the .08 BAC limit defining intoxication, the student was still charged with driving under the influence due to the fact that the legal limit for drivers under the age of 21 in Kentucky is .02 (the student is 18 years old). He later pled not guilty to the charge.
The family of the small boy in this case (as well as those in others like it) are undoubtedly devastated by the loss. Yet in the event that they chose to take legal action against the student (such an intent was not reported), their ultimate purpose may be to seek compensation for the expenses stemming from the accident rather than imposing further punishment. One might think that the defendant in such a case must first be found guilty to assign negligence to their actions, yet liability is civil cases is determined using a different standard. Those looking to commence legal action in such a scenario might first want to consult with an attorney.