Understanding The Difference Between Wrongful Death and Murder

Posted by on Sep 15, 2016 in Wrongful Death | 0 comments

Wrongful death and murder can both lead to the sudden death of a person. But while they can lead to the same result, wrongful death and murder have huge differences. When their loved one has been murdered, can the family sue the individual responsible? When someone has been charged with murder, can they also be sued for wrongful death? Let us take a look at the difference of the two terms.

The first difference between wrongful death and murder is the type of case. Wrongful death is a civil case. According to the website of Spiros Law Firm, it is the family of the deceased that files the case. Being a civil case, it carries a different burden of proof than a criminal case. In such cases, proof by 51% or more is already acceptable. A wrongful death case is tried in a civil court.

On the other hand, murder is a criminal case and is filed by the state as the act is considered a crime. The trial is heard in a criminal court and if the defendant is found guilty, the punishment is often incarceration. In a wrongful death case, punishment is usually by payment of damages to the surviving members of the family.

Another difference between wrongful death and murder is the level of intent. In wrongful death, the defendant may just have been negligent with their actions. On the other hand, murder always involves criminal intent which is beyond civil negligence.

As mentioned, a wrongful death lawsuit has a different burden of proof than murder. With the former, it must be proven that the defendant was indeed responsible for the death of the plaintiff. The latter, on the other hand, requires proof of guilt “beyond reasonable doubt.”

Actions that amount to murder can also form the basis of a wrongful death lawsuit. However, this is not always the case with liability for wrongful death not leading to criminal punishment for murder.

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The Inevitability of Legal Complexities Upon Death

Posted by on Feb 17, 2015 in Wrongful Death | 0 comments

The thing about death is that it is as inevitable as taxes – and just as much of the worst of humanity that the latter can inspire, the same can be said to that of the former. Where some family members may be grieving the death of a loved one, there might be some present who might find now to be the most opportune moment to get away with the worldly possessions left behind by the recently deceased.

Financially speaking, families everywhere can be deeply affected by a death and require whatever is left behind in order to get back to some semblance of normalcy. And because greed and avarice are things that exist in this world, these are often the cause for cases of theft, improper withdrawals, and management.

A circumstance such as this is often up to the brim with stress and highly-strung individuals as this kind of situation often provokes emotionally charged arguments and accusations. According to the website of the legal team with Peck Ritchey, LLC, this can be increasingly complex and difficult to deal with without professional help. Every case is different and the path ahead, should litigation take place or should anyone contest the will on any grounds, is hardly ever straightforward.

Some people might take advantage of the chaos or even add wood to the fire, as it were, and individuals who are not as informed of the legal proceedings can be easily hoodwinked. It can be more than difficult to deal with this on your own, especially if you can’t make heads or tails of the situation as there are so many factors to consider. That is why it is advisable for you to acquire the professional services of someone who knows what they’re doing.

A stressful and unfortunate reality, the only thing that you need to worry about is trying to get your life back together despite the loss of a beloved family member – and allow for the legal team you acquire to help you, advise you, and be with you every step of the way.

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Personal Injury – Wrongful Death

Posted by on Aug 6, 2014 in Wrongful Death | 0 comments

When an accident occurs, there are, almost always, two consequences: property damage and personal injury. A personal injury is the result of another person’s or party’s negligence and it can happen through various ways, including, but not limited to: car accidents; truck accidents; motorcycle accidents; medical malpractice; construction accidents; dangerous products; slip and fall accident; or, nursing home negligence.

According to the website of the Jeff Sampson law firm, reckless or negligent act resulting in personal injury is considered a civil offense or a tortious act. This is different from a criminal offense and the courts work differently for either type of case. Under the law, the person or party (called a tortfeasor) who/which caused the injury is legally required to compensate the victim for all the damages that he/she has been and will still be subjected to due to the injury; these include lost wages, cost of medical treatment and others.

There are extreme cases, however, when the effect of an accident is much more damaging than a severe injury; there are times when it leads to a victim’s wrongful or untimely death. In the event of death a representative, who would act on behalf of the victim’s survivors (legally identified as “real parties in interest”), can file a lawsuit called a wrongful death claim.

The identities of real parties in interest vary from one state to another. They may be:

  • The deceased victim’s immediate family, which includes the spouse, child/children and/or adopted children
  • Distant family members, like brothers and sisters, and grandparents
  • Those directly financially affected by the victim’s death due to the cessation of the victim’s care or support;
  • The deceased victim’s (financial) dependents, life partner or putative spouse (a person who sincerely believes that he/she and the deceased were married)
  • Parents of a deceased fetus (while there are states that consider as real parties in interest only the parents of child already born, there are those, on the other hand, that consider the fetus’ death a basis for a wrongful death claim)

A wrongful death lawsuit is not a simple procedure and even if the liable party were willing to settle with the victim’s survivors, the amount of compensation given is often not a just amount. In this type of legal procedure, it is highly necessary that the deceased victim’s survivors are represented by an able lawyer, whose expertise, experience and dedication are unquestionable. A personal injury lawyer is the legal professional whose services can be used for this type of lawsuit.

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