If you file a personal injury case in Maryland, you may wonder what will happen when you go to court. Depending on the situation, you may hope the judge gives the other person some jail time as punishment for his or her negligence. According to the American Bar Association, you should not get your hopes up because in this type of case, the judge will not impose criminal penalties.
A personal injury case is a civil matter not a criminal matter. You cannot go to jail for a civil case because this type of case does not result in punishment. The judge can only award monetary judgments. This means that instead of the judge sentencing the other person to jail time, instead he or she will sentence the other person to pay you money.
A criminal case may result from the same incident that your case does, though. For example, if you were in a car accident where the other person was at fault, you can sue him or her in civil court, but the state may also press criminal charges. They become two different cases with two different results. So, the person may end up with jail time, but it will not come from your case.
Keep in mind that your case may still involve presenting evidence and witnesses just as with a criminal case. However, the basis for the laws are much different resulting in the difference in penalties. This information is for educational use only. It is not legal advice.