Posted on: 3 November 2016Share
If you have experienced the death of a loved one due to an accident, you might be considering filing a wrongful death suit. This is a good way to send a strong message that this kind of behavior will not be tolerated, and to get some restitution for your pain and suffering. Here are some things you need to know about filing a wrongful death lawsuit.
1. Recognize the Difference Between Civil and Criminal Courts
It is important to recognize that criminal and civil courts are completely separate. To be tried in criminal court will involve the police and criminal charges. This means that you have no control over the criminal case. The state will chose whether it is going to press charges and then they will do a trial all on their own, where they collect evidence and present their findings to a jury or a judge to get a verdict. The punishment for criminal court will be jail time, community service, or a fine paid to the state.
A civil court is different in that it doesn't involve the state at all. Instead, it is between two civilians. This means that you can chose to file the lawsuit regardless of what the state chooses to do. You will also have to collect evidence and you will present your findings in civil court. All of the winnings for civil court will be in restitution for damages, which means money paid to the family or the individual who was wronged. Thus, you can have both a criminal case and a civil case going on at the same time. You might also have a guilty verdict in one and an innocent verdict in another.
2. Negligence Is Key to Any Personal Injury Case
In order to have a good case in civil court you will need to prove that there was some sort of negligence from the guilty party. Accidents happen every day. Thus, even if someone died, if the supposedly guilty party did everything they could to prevent the accident, then you probably don't have a good case against them.
Instead, you will need to prove that the person or company you are suing failed to follow safety laws or regulations, acted recklessly, or purposefully hurt your loved one.
By understanding these things about a wrongful death case you determine what steps to take in your wrongful death case. Talk to an attorney like those at Dunbar & Dunbar for more information.