In the opposing side, a “crime,” is something that entirely different that arises when a person has violated either a state or federal law, and now must pay some sort of restitution to the state for their alleged crime.
A tort action is one that occurs in civil court as opposed to criminal court. To be a tort and not a crime, the plaintiff will sue the defendant personally, sometimes jointly and severally with another defendant, for damages due to the injury. The plaintiff, if found to be in the right, will recover monatary damages from the defendant for the defendant’s actions.
On the converse, when a person is charged with a crime instead of a tort, they are considered to be the defendant in the case, and the state serves as the plaintiff for all practical purposes.
The major difference is that when there is a crime charge due to injuries, there is no single person to serve as the plaintiff and earn a reward of compensation; but rather the focus is for the defendant to pay for their malfeasance either through fines to the state, serving the community, or at worst, being incarcerated.
Whether you have incurred a serious personal injury through an accident such as a car collision or the like; or whether you have been charged with a crime by the state of South Carolina, contact the law offices of Reeves, Aiken, and Hightower, LLP directly at 803-548-444 or toll-free at 877-374-5999 for more information on your legal options.