The Crime Victims Law Firm
|D. Scott Beard, Esquire
P.O. Box 1124
Isle of Palms, SC 29451
|Scott E. Kegel, Esquire
P.O. Box 1125
Charleston, SC 29402
The “Crime Victims Law Firm” helps victims enforce their rights through the civil courts of South Carolina. The “The Crime Victim Law Firm” is committed to serving South Carolina’s crime victims by educating victims about their rights; advocating for the protection of their rights; and representing crime victims to enforce their rights by making civil claims against those that have violated the victim and their rights.
What constitutes a good civil claim for a crime victim?
- The claimant must be a victim of a crime as recognized under the laws of South Carolina (or Federal laws).
- It is helpful but not necessary if the crime for which the civil claim is based is successfully prosecuted in criminal court.
- The claim can be against the perpetrator of a crime, or against another person or institution that allowed the crime to occur. For instance, if a company or agency knows a sex offender is coming on their premises, and the sex offender perpetrates abuse on their premises against a child, the company or agency can be held liable. Such a company is referred to as a “negligent third party.”
- Civil lawsuits are about money. For a successful civil claim, the perpetrator or the negligent third party must have money, assets or insurance to cover this type of injury.
- The victim must suffer some type of injury. That injury can be physical such as a broken leg, financial such as hospital costs, or emotional such as resulting depression or emotional distress that can be documented by a mental health professional.
Did you know that the statute supporting the constitutional amendment for crime victims requires state agencies working with crime victims to inform them about their right to civil remedies?
The summary court must attempt to notify each victim of his or her right to pursue civil remedies, SC Code of Laws 16-3-1535 (A)(3). The same holds true for juvenile cases referred or when a general sessions charge is received, SC Code of Laws 16-3-1545 (A)(D).
Furthermore, under SC Code of Laws 16-3-1410(G)(1)(h) The State Victim Compensation agency is to work with Solicitors, the Attorney General’s Office, and other relevant professional agencies to develop guidelines for services to crime victims including informing victims of the availability of civil redress.