What You Need to Know About the Law
For most non-lawyers, the law is a relatively obscure thing. Sure, we may watch a police procedural or see advertisements for personal injury attorneys on TV, but most of us don’t often interact with the law—and most of us don’t understand it.
But that can be a problem. You probably won’t be able to go your whole life without having to deal with a legal issue of some nature. When the time comes and you need legal counsel, things will be a lot easier for you if you have a basic understanding of how the law works. With that in mind, read on and learn more.
If you learn about the law from TV shows, you’ll probably end up knowing quite a bit more about criminal law than you do about civil law. Crime is what all the exciting cop dramas are about, and shows like Law & Order show some of the legal sides of things, too. As any graduate of an online criminal justice degree program can tell you, the stuff that happens on police procedurals and courtroom dramas doesn’t always mirror the reality taught in criminal law classrooms and practices in criminal trials in the United States.
The criminal justice system includes law enforcement as well as trial lawyers. A person with a criminal justice degree might work in the criminal justice field as a law enforcement officer, a juvenile justice expert, or in many other roles. Or, they might head to law school and become an attorney. As a lawyer, they could defend the accused or prosecute crimes on behalf of the government. It is, after all, the government that brings criminal cases—in contrast to civil law, which we’ll cover in a moment.
You don’t need to know everything about the criminal justice system in order to get through your daily life. But you should at least know this: Despite all of our advances in criminology, homeland security, and other aspects of law enforcement and criminal justice, mistakes still happen. That’s why criminal defense lawyers and other experts advise you to be wary of investigations and well aware of your rights. Innocent people can get arrested for crimes; in fact, explain criminology experts, some innocent people even confess!
If you find yourself speaking with a police officer, here’s what you should do: Stop speaking and call a criminal defense lawyer. It doesn’t matter if you’re a “suspect” or a “person of interest,” how innocent you may or may not be, or how nice the police officers seem. Don’t tell law enforcement officers anything.
Civil Law in the United States
The worlds of criminal justice and criminal law are all about the government’s forces catching crooks and prosecuting crimes. But what about all of the laws and legal cases that have nothing to do with crimes, criminal justice, or law enforcement? What about disputes between neighbors, medical malpractice, and personal injury cases?
All of these things fall under a different part of US law: Civil law.
Civil law is a broad category, legal experts explain. Divorces and other family law issues are part of civil law. So are contracts and business agreements. The deed to your house and your property rights are civil law issues, too.
And so are torts, which may be the most famous of civil law’s divisions.
Tort law governs lawsuits in the United States. If you suffer a personal injury in an accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence and want to sue them for cash to cover your medical bills, explain the experts at Daniel Kim Law, you’re going to be dealing with civil law and tort law.
In situations like the one described above, you’ll have options. Daniel Kim and his attorneys have fought for victims of motor vehicle accidents and other unfortunate events. The key to getting justice for a car or motorcycle accident, a botched surgery, or a slip-and-fall accident is negligence. For the other party to be held liable, they’ll have had to have been negligent. Perhaps the other car or motorcycle driver caused the accident. Maybe the doctor was tired or careless. Maybe the store where you fell failed to put up a “wet floor” sign. These things might demonstrate negligence, which would mean that justice demands they cover your medical bills and other expenses. Why should an innocent accident victim bear the burden of someone else’s poor behavior?
You may not need a personal injury attorney now, but you might someday be the victim of a serious injury. If and when that day comes, remember what you know. Be sure to keep all of the documentation that you can, advise the pros at Daniel Kim Law. Hold onto police reports, medical bills, and more. The more you have, the better an expert personal injury lawyer will be able to help you. Understanding something about how the law works can really pay off.