A wrongful death occurs when another person's misconduct or negligence results in death. The surviving family members have a right to pursue compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit, which alleges that the death may have been avoided if the at-fault party had not been negligent or injured the victim for other reasons.
It's normal for wrongful death lawsuits to take place after a criminal trial. Why? It's easier to pursue compensation from the alleged perpetrator if that person has already been found guilty of a crime.
If the court does not find the individual guilty of a crime, that doesn't mean that a family can't pursue compensation. In fact, in a civil court, the standard of proof is lower, which makes it easier to win compensation even if the criminal trial did not go as planned.
To bring a wrongful death lawsuit against an individual, you'll need to show that a human was killed, that the death was as a result of a person's intent to cause harm or negligence, that you or other family members have suffered monetary injuries as a result of the death and that there is a representative for the estate. If you can successfully prove that the other party's negligence or intent to cause harm resulted in your loved one's death, then you should win your case and the right to fair compensation.
If you're ready to seek a claim against a party that killed a loved one, your attorney can help. Our website has more information on wrongful death claims and what you can expect.