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A wrongful death lawsuit is not the same as a criminal trial. If a criminal trial does occur, the criminal trial is filed on behalf of the state, and the defendant is tried for breaking some state statute or law. However, a wrongful death lawsuit is filed by a family member, friend or associate of the diseased. A wrongful death lawsuit can be filed subsequent to a criminal trial, even if the defendant is found innocent in the criminal trial. A wrongful death attorney will represent someone filing a civil lawsuit for a wrongful death.
In most cases, the wrongful death lawsuit will follow similar procedures and use the same evidence as a criminal trial. Because the defendant is being tried for damages, rather than a crime, the standard of proof is lower in a wrongful death lawsuit. In a criminal trial, the defendant must be found to be guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. In a wrongful death lawsuit, the plaintiff must only prove that the defendant was responsible by a preponderance of the evidence.
In order to be eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of another person, you must be considered a personal representative of the decedent’s estate. Defining “personal representative of the decedent’s estate” differs on a state-by-state basis. Each state has a “wrongful death statute” that defines who is considered eligible to file suit. Contact a wrongful death attorney to be sure that you are eligible before beginning the process of filing suit.
Generally, the following are eligible to take on the role of a personal representative of the decedent’s estate:
Eligibility is not limited to this list, and special circumstances can arise in which others are eligible to take on the role. Contact a wrongful death attorney right away if you have any questions regarding eligibility.
In order to prove that the defendant is at fault, a wrongful death attorney must prove that:
Again, wrongful death is considered an incident in which a person’s death results from negligence or misconduct by another person. There is a wide array of incidents which could fall under the definition of wrongful death.
Some of the more common include:
There are three types of damages available in a wrongful death lawsuit:
If you believe that you have a case and want to hire a wrongful death attorney, please contact our law firm. TorHoerman Law offers a no-obligation free consultation for any potential wrongful death lawsuit. Do not wait to take action; a wrongful death lawsuit requires time-sensitive information – there are strict statutes of limitation in most states. We will help you get the compensation that you deserve for the death of your loved one.
Last Modified: February 10th, 2020 @ 03:54 pm
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