When a person is killed due to another person's negligence or intentional malicious behavior, he or she is known as a victim of a wrongful death. The person's family may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit, which covers expenses related to the death as well as paying some additional compensation for emotional distress and the loss of companionship.
While some wrongful death cases occur after a criminal trial concludes, the person responsible won't necessarily face a criminal charge. You can always pursue a wrongful death lawsuit in a civil court if that's the case. If a criminal case is filed and the individual is convicted, that helps your case.
What happens if the at-fault party isn't convicted of a crime?
If someone is not found guilty of a crime like a DUI or distracted driving, that doesn't mean that he or she isn't liable for the death of your loved one. The criminal case can help your case if the individual is found to be guilty, but it doesn't necessarily hurt your case if it turns out that the other party won't face a conviction.
It's your right to obtain compensation for the negligence or malicious intent of the other party. There's a lower standard of proof for wrongful death cases, which gives you the best chance of obtaining the compensation your family needs. Even those who cause an injury accidentally can be held liable for said injuries in many cases. Remember, your finances come first; you, your family and your loved one are all victims as a result of one person's bad decisions.
Source: FindLaw, "Wrongful Death Overview," accessed Dec. 22, 2017