That depends on whether or not your definition of criminal cases includes violations of the traffic code. It’s quite common for the same collision to result in both a traffic citation and a civil lawsuit.
Outside of traffic offenses, it’s not as common but does happen when the crime has injured a third party.
In Kentucky, we have a statute that reads:
A person injured by the violation of any statute may recover from the offender such damages as he sustained by reason of the violation, although a penalty or forfeiture is imposed for such violation.
KRS 446.070. That means even if a criminal has been fined or gone to jail for a crime that injured you, you can still sue the criminal to recover your damages.
Many civil suits are premised on the claim that the defendant has violated a state statute and the plaintiff has been injured by this violation, although again these are usually motor-vehicle collisions or other situations where the defendant likely has liability coverage in effect.
Note that deliberate torts are generally excluded from coverage by insurers — you can’t buy personal-liability insurance and then go beating people up expecting their claims will be covered. For that, Kentucky’s Crime Victim’s Compensation Fund may be able to provide help. See http://cvcb.ky.gov/Pages/default.aspx.
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This is a blog post, not specific legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is intended or created.
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